Picture this: I moved from sunny San Diego to the snow-covered wonderland of Jackson, Wyoming (why, you ask? Well, that’s a tale for another day, haha!). It’s safe to say my body went, “What’s going on here?” when it experienced a real winter for the first time, complete with 8 months of snow and gloomy gray days. Now, as October comes to a close, I’m gearing up for those chilly, less sunshiny days ahead.
When your mood takes a nosedive as fast as the temperature, it’s time to put your skills to work. I don’t know about you, but my motivation tends to hibernate when it gets cold and gray. We can’t control the weather, but we sure can control how it affects us. If you’re like me and these winter vibes have you down, here are some things to try:
Now, I get it. When it’s freezing and the days are as dark as the night, moving your body is probably the last thing you want to do. But here’s the thing: movement works wonders for your mood. So, schedule ways you can move your body in advance. Sign up for classes or plan gym dates with friends. When the motivation vanishes, you’ll already have a plan in place.
As the seasons change and the cold sets in, our bodies start craving those warm, comforting foods. And that’s perfectly normal. But, why not add a dash of nourishment to these cozy dishes? Sprinkle some spinach into your spaghetti sauce, toss broccoli into your mac ‘n’ cheese, or roast some veggies for your chili. It’s not about giving up comfort food, it’s about making it satisfying and nourishing!
Turn on some feel-good music or pick a hilarious podcast. Blast it while you’re driving, cooking, or doing chores. It’s like a mini mood-boosting party that’ll help you sail through the winter blues.
Between holiday parties, family time, and end-of-year celebrations, it may seem like you’re socializing enough. But don’t forget your girlfriends or buddies – they’re essential for your happiness and well-being. Take a break from Netflix and connect with friends.
Vitamin D not only elevates your mood but also boosts your immune system – a much-needed defense during the winter months. Even if you don’t feel an instant change, taking a vitamin D supplement ensures your body gets what it needs to keep those blues at bay.
Guilty of hitting that snooze button more times than you should? Trust me, we’ve all been there. Sticking to a sleep schedule, especially on weekdays, can be a game-changer when those winter blues strike.
A clean house, a tidy car, an organized office – they can make a world of difference when you’re feeling down. Spend just 5-10 minutes a day tidying up, and you’ll always come home to a welcoming, stress-free space.
Having something to look forward to can work wonders for your mood. It doesn’t have to be a vacation – it could be a dinner date with friends, a movie night with your partner, or even signing up for a running race. Plan something that sparks joy.
Light therapy? Yep, it’s a thing. You can buy or DIY a light box that mimics outdoor light. A quick 10-15 minutes of this magical light on your face boosts your mood by elevating vitamin D levels.
Now, I know the allure of sweatpants is strong, but after a while, they can amplify those winter blues. On days when you’re feeling down, switch out of the comfy gear and put on some real clothes. Sometimes, feeling good on the outside works its magic on the inside.
The good news is that winter isn’t here to stay forever, and sunshine will return – even if it feels like it won’t. Think of it as a season to enjoy all the pumpkin spice lattes and Christmas cookies with zero guilt while they’re around! 🍁❄️🍪
Licensed Therapist, Certified Nutritionist, and Virtual Wellness Coach
Ryann is a licensed therapist and virtual wellness coach who has assisted individuals worldwide in establishing a healthier relationship with food and their bodies.
I understand—it can be overwhelming to figure out where to begin. Let's simplify things and have you start right here:
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