As the months get colder and darker, our mood can be affected by these seasonal changes. For some people, it can be hard to wake up on cold, Winter mornings and it can be even harder to remain positive when it rains from morning until night.
However, there are some simple things you can do to make sure the Winter blues don’t get you down. None of these suggestions are rocket science, but it’s sometimes worth taking a moment to remind ourselves that we can change our situation, even if that feels difficult to do. By remembering these simple things that you can do to lift your mood, it might help you to feel empowered to take those small steps towards making yourself feel better.
Here Are 5 Tips for Boosting Your Mood and Beating the Winter Blues:
Get as Much Daylight as Possible
This depends on where you live in the world and the amount of sunlight available during the winter months but even if you live somewhere with low light levels in Winter, you could invest in a SAD lamp instead. An easy way to make sure you get daylight and keep your vitamin D levels up is to sit by a window. You can stay warm with a hot chocolate and read a book while ensuring your body gets the UV rays it needs to produce vitamin D. Research has shown that vitamin D can help regulate our mood and help to keep depression at bay.
Take Regular Exercise
Taking regular exercise has been proven to help boost mood. When we exercise, the neurotransmitters that our brain releases such as serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine are increased helping to lift our mood. Serotonin regulates our levels of anxiety. Endorphins reduce our feelings of pain and boost our feelings of pleasure. They act on the opiate receptors in the brain. Dopamine is responsible for motivation and reward among lots of other things. It is responsible for the pleasure we feel. So when we exercise, dopamine reinforces those positive feelings we get from exercise and encourages us to repeat that action.
Do One Thing that Makes You Feel Good Every Day
This can be absolutely anything that relieves your low mood and/or any feelings of anxiety you may be experiencing. It could be taking a short walk around a local park, having a cup of tea while doing nothing else, listening to the birds, or having a hot bath. If you don’t know what this is for you already, take some time to experiment and see what makes you feel better. This in itself can be a lovely process to go through while you learn to take care of yourself.
Connect with Your Loved Ones
It can be very easy to isolate yourself when you are feeling low. And it can be even harder to reach out and connect with those around you, but it is so important that we do this. We are social creatures, even those of us who are introverts. It doesn’t have to mean two-hour-long video calls every day with people, it can be as simple as a text or even spending some time writing a letter to a family member. If you do not get on with your family and don’t have many friends, there is nothing wrong with that. You can still connect with people. Perhaps try joining an online forum or volunteering. There are also online groups for people experiencing the same feelings of low mood and these groups can be very helpful for those of us feeling like we’re the only ones struggling.
Be Gentle with Yourself
These are completely unprecedented times and it’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to not feel like doing any of the above. The important thing to remember is that these things are there when you feel ready to do them. Be patient with yourself and when you feel OK, take the opportunity to do one of the above when your motivation is higher. Be compassionate with yourself and show yourself kindness, like you would to a friend. You are doing the best you can and just by reading this, you are already one step further ahead on your road to recovery.
Which one of these tips helped you the most? Please share it with us in the comments section below!
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