While we would love to hop a plane to a sunshine-kissed, warm-sand, tropical Island beach … most of us need to make the best of the winter in which we live and work, and hopefully play. Here are a few suggestions to help avoid the winter blues.
1. Get light and sun every day. Expose yourself to daylight early in the morning to keep your body’s internal clock on track. It could be as simple as dragging yourself out from under those cozy covers to open the shades, or sitting by a window with your tea or coffee.
2. Spend time outdoors. Even though wintery grey skies, especially in the Northwest, can seem sun-less, you are still receiving some filtered sun and light to help you feel better and elevate your mood. Fresh air is a fantastic elixir. Even if an effort of heroic proportions to take that first step out the door when it’s raining, you’ll always feel better afterwards – and you’ll feel so cozy returning home. Hats, gloves, scarves keep you extra warm and are fun to wear.
Light Boxes can also help give you mood-lifting rays with faux sun. Be sure to get one that filters out UV rays.
3. Head for the hills! In the Northwest we are gifted with mountains and beaches within a few hours drive. The mountain ranges unto themselves are exquisite to drive through, and once there, you will be amazed at how time in the snow or on the beach will elevate your mood and make you sparkle with energy.
4. Work it out. Exercise is always key in improving mood and maintaining a healthy body, but in winter it’s especially important to get up and move 3-5 times a week.
It may not be your cup of tea to run in the rain or cold but there are tons of other activities: Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Barre, aerobics, dance classes, walking a high school track or out on our beloved Wildwood trails.
5. Put down the bread. When the temperature drops, our bodies tend to crave carbohydrates to give us that warm and full feeling. Temper your cravings and experiment with foods and tastes and recipes that you haven’t tried before. Use spices to heat up the cuisine. And of coarse, there is always dark chocolate:-)
6. Take your vitamins. Sunlight does a lot of work to keep our bodies balanced and working right. Plus, your body is no doubt missing all those fresh fruits and veggies you ate all summer. Taking a quality multi-vitamin can help supplement the nutrients you may be missing.
Perhaps the most important supplement in winter is Vitamin D—this all-star vitamin helps keep your bones strong and keeps your morale sunshiny.
7. Set the scene. Warming up your spaces can help you enjoy the cold weather from the comfort of your home. Color it up with bright tropical hues, pull out the extra rugs, pillows, blankets – and when is the last time you cozied up to a hot water bottle?
8. Get social. If you’re feeling the winter blues, your friends are likely going through the same thing. Being engaged in conversation with good friends or in an activity or cause that you like is a fantastic distraction and energizer, and you’ll feel better knowing you aren’t alone in the winter gray days.