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Dealing with the Dreaded Winter Blahs

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Some people really love winter. They love the crisp air, fresh snow, skiing, and hot cocoa by a roaring fire.

For others, however, the winter represents a time of the year full of wet, slushy and icy weather, long cold nights, and short, sunless days. It’s when we really begin to understand why bears hibernate, and if you’ve ever had the impulse to want to just crawl under your blanket and stay there until March, you’re not alone – many of us feel the winter blahs this time of year.

But what can we do about them? Follow along with these helpful tips – they’ll inspire you to make the most out of the winter months without feeling too down about it!

Let the Light In
This time of year, it’s fair to say that many of us are craving a little more daylight – especially when the sun sets before we even get home from work! To counter this, try soaking up as much extra light as you can. Light boxes, which are meant to mimic the sun’s light, can certainly help – these products can produce upwards of 10,000 lux (the measurement of a light’s brightness), and can help reduce your blahs! 

Get Moving
A great way to help naturally boost your dopamine and norepinephrine is to be active whenever you can. Even if it’s feeling chilly outside, a quick walk every day can help boost your mood (and if you can do it when the sun is still out, even better!). Or, you could always take advantage of the cold, and strap on a pair of skate or skis, have a snowball fight, or go tobogganing – however you decide to be active, it’ll be worth it!

Avoid those Refined Carbs
We know just how tempting it is to go for the pizza and pasta when the temperature drops, but even if it feels (and tastes) great when you’re eating them, these carbs can spike your blood sugar levels, and make you feel weighed down and lethargic. Instead, opt for complex carbs found in beans, peas, whole grains, and lots of veggies.

Try Meditating
Aside from being a great way to relax and unwind after a stressful day (or to begin your day, for that matter), meditation is also a popular way to help deal with the winter blahs. To start, meditation can help you focus on mindfulness, while also decreasing stress and increasing happiness (thanks to engaging with the part of the brain responsible for melatonin production). 

                                                                                                                         
It might take a little effort on your part at first, but with a plan in place and some trusted techniques to follow, beating the winter blahs might be easier than you think – just don’t forget to make time for snuggling up with a good book and some hot cocoa too!

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A great way to help naturally boost your dopamine and norepinephrine is to be active whenever you can.

 

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Stronger Minds content is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to establish a standard of care with a reader, you should always seek the advice of your mental health professional, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. If you think you may have a medical or mental health emergency, call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department, or call emergency services immediately. You should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained herein. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information herein should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.