Once I realized how I was feeling, I had to change my thoughts, stop waiting for the sun to come and get on with enjoying life, even the gloomy days! Here are a few of the things I have done, and continue to do to keep the winter blues from coming back! I hope you find them useful too.
Important note: the winter blues are not to be confused with Seasonal Affective Disorder or other types of depression.
8 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues
1. Go Outside
This one is tough, but it’s so important! I usually find myself waiting for it to stop snowing, the sun to come out or the perfect temperature before going outside, but after moving to BC, I quickly realized that if I’m waiting for the perfect weather then I’ll never make it outside! Last weekend we went for a hike when it was snowing out and it was actually perfect! It was warmer than it has been, our 3 yr old loved it and we all felt so refreshed. Even if you only make it out to go for a walk around the block or only spend 15 minutes outside. Whatever you can do, it will help your mood so much!
Even when it’s gloomy, it can still be beautiful.
This can related to #1, but you can also exercise inside! No need to leave your home for this one! When you exercise your brain releases endorphins which reduce your perception of pain and also trigger a positive feeling in your body (Click here for more information on exercising and depression). This is why it feels good to exercise!
The other morning I talked myself into going cross country skiing and it was just what my mind and body needed. Read more on next week’s blog about my new favourite place to ski!
When stuck inside on cold winter days my toddler and I have done yoga and circuits watching videos on You Tube and we’ve even made our own obstacle courses! Check out one of our videos HERE.
3. Eat Well
Now is a great time to get back on a healthy, balanced diet, especially if you indulged over the holidays, like me 😉 Some of our favourite snacks right now are nuts and dried fruit and any fresh fruit we can find at the grocery store. I know I always feel so much better when I am eating well balanced meals.
4. Vitamin D
In the winter I find it harder to get all the nutrients I need, especially vitamin D. Did you know that most natural vitamin D is obtained through exposure to the sun? It can also be obtained by eating eggs and drinking milk fortified with vitamin D, but I don’t have a lot of either of those. Since moving to BC I have started taking vitamin D and I think it has also helped beat my winter blues. I’ve included a link below to the vitamin D that I’ve been buying, you can even get it online!
Interesting fact, Saskatoon, SK has an annual average of 2268 hours of sunshine, compared to our new town, Smithers, BC, which has an annual average of 1621 hours of sunshine. That’s a big difference! Look your town up HERE.
It’s always best to consult your physician about vitamin recommendations, but you can also read more HERE.
5. Get Cozy
I know, sometimes it’s just too cold to go outside, I get it. For those days, get cozy in your favourite pjs, house coat, grab a cup of something warm, curl up by the fire and just enjoy. Try reading a book instead of mindlessly scrolling through your social media newsfeed, it may be the cure you need! I’ve started The Birth Order book and I’m really enjoying it.
UPDATE: I’ve included a few links to some other books that I’ve read, am reading or are on my list!
6. Treat Yourself
Nothing feels better than a fresh hair colour and cut, pedicure, manicure, facial, massage…you know what I’m talking about. So why not treat yourself if it’s going to make you feel good? It’s true what they say, if momma’s not happy then nobody’s happy! This is why you need to take care of yourself momma! While you’re at it, might as well get a bit of retail therapy in too!
Read some simple (do it at home) tips on how to treat yourself HERE.
7. Brighten Your Space
Even if the sun isn’t shining, open those curtains, let the light in and add some colours to your favourite spaces! Cleaning and tidying your living spaces may also help you enjoy them better too. Next time you’re grocery shopping, why not pick up some fresh flowers? Call it a mental health day and just do it!
One thing I love to do is plan my day/week out in my Simplified Planner. It is bright and colourful and it helps me stay organized, which makes me happy! You can read more about this planner and tips on how to be productive HERE.
8. Be Social
It’s been harder than I thought moving away from our great friends, but I am thankful for being able to keep in touch with today’s technology, especially FaceTime! Even though some might not classify FaceTime as being social…what’s important is connecting with people. By people I mean adults. Those tiny humans that you talk to all day long don’t meet the “be social” criteria. In fact, they make being social with adults even more important. Whatever works for you, whether it’s going out with your spouse, a girlfriend, a playdate with your mom friends/little ones or volunteering, you need to make the time to be social.
What are your tips for beating the winter blues?
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