I used to dread the winter months – the darker and shorter days always drove the depression I suffered from to new heights. But since my recovery, I love all seasons and all types of weather. However, I know there are still many people who suffer from the winter blues and also the more serious Seasonal Affective Disorder also known as SAD, so I’ve put a few tips together on how to get through the winter months.
1. Brighten your day
Maybe you leave your house while it’s still dark and then by the time you leave work, it’s already getting dark again. So this means you’re not getting enough light. We all need some daylight everyday for our mental and physical wellbeing so how about going for a lunchtime walk, even if it’s just for 15 minutes?
2. Don’t hibernate
When it’s cold and dark, it’s really tempting to be at home curled up on the sofa, but what you don’t realise is that you could be gradually isolating yourself from people and then you start feeling low because you’re not interacting much with anyone. So make plans to go out, or to meet up with friends, even if it’s just once week. There are plenty of lovely places to vist, you can go for a walk along the river, visit a cosy café somewhere for a nice hot drink, go to the theatre, etc. Make plans and you will have something nice to look forward to.
3. Get moving
Don’t let your exercise schedule slide just because it’s cold outside. When you are buried under layers of clothes, you may not feel like exercising much. Exercise, like sunlight, lifts your mood, so if you stop exercising, you will not be as happy. You should aim to exercise at least three times a week even if you don’t feel like it. You will feel much better for it.
4. Watch what you eat
You may feel very tempted to eat lots of junk when the weather is cold. Perhaps you tend to reach out for comfort food and lots of sugary things. However, these all affect your mood and can make you feel worse. Opt for healthy, nutritious and warming soups and there are plenty of recipes out there for healthy desserts.
5. Don’t say ‘bad weather’
Sometimes the problem lies in the way we think about things. I don’t say ‘bad weather’. Why is the weather ‘bad’ just because it’s cold or raining? It’s just a different season, that’s all. We need the rain and we need the change of seasons. The trick is, just adapt. Prepare for the colder months with the right clothes and footwear. Learn to enjoy all the seasons. Each season has its own beauty and advantages. If you keep saying something is ‘bad’ then it will always be bad and cause negative emotions.
So everybody. Get out there and enjoy the weather!