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The Winter Blues is a real condition according to the National Institutes of Health and is characterized by feeling more down than usual, unhappy, less enthusiastic, or less interested in activities one normally enjoys.
It’s hard to predict when these feelings will come and go, but it’s no secret that short, cloudy days can certainly affect people’s moods. The weather can also affect the body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which are chemicals that regulate mood and sleep.
Estimates suggest anywhere from 10% to 20% of American adults experience such seasonal mood changes at some level. A small percentage of people who experience a change of mood with the season have a more severe clinical condition called seasonal affective disorder, which should be treated by a medical professional.
While SAD requires professional treatment, you can also do simple things at home to beat the occasional feelings of the winter blues.
Get some sunshine (when possible)
It can be challenging to get sunshine during the winter, but it’s important to try to get some natural light in your home. Sunlight helps regulate the body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, which regulate mood and sleep.
Remember to open your curtains or blinds during the day to let natural light into your home. If you work from home, set up your workstation near a window. Step outside for a walk or sit near a window to soak up the sun during lunch breaks.
Another way to get UV light at home is to use a lightbox. Light boxes emit UV-free light that mimics natural sunlight.
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Exercise and physical activity have numerous benefits, like reduced blood pressure, increased heart health, weight control, and increased energy.
But did you know staying active can also help you beat the winter blues? A good workout at the gym or a brisk jog can release endorphins, help you sleep, reduce stress and boost brain performance.
A healthy amount of energy is vital to sustainable and healthy mental health. Studies have shown direct correlations between low energy and psychological disorders. Implementing healthy foods can significantly boost your energy and mood levels and give you the needed vitamins to help with the winter blues.
Healthline recommends fatty fish, Dark chocolate, Fermented foods, Bananas, Oats, Berries, Nuts and seeds, Coffee Beans, and lentils. Try to avoid foods that are high in sugar and processed.
Get a pet for companionship
Pets can provide companionship, love, and a sense of responsibility, improving mood and reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation. Interacting with animals can also increase oxytocin levels, a hormone associated with happiness and well-being.
Dogs especially can encourage people to spend more time outdoors, which can be beneficial during winter. Even just taking a dog for a walk or playing with a cat by your window can help increase exposure to natural light and boost mood.
Get the party started
Hosting a party can be a great way to beat the winter blues by socializing with friends and family. It can be fun and festive to break up the monotony of the winter months and make the most of the season.
When planning a party, it’s essential to ensure the atmosphere is warm and inviting. You can create a cozy atmosphere by lighting candles, having warm blankets, and playing soft background music. You can also make your home more festive by decorating with seasonal lights and greenery.
You can also make your party more interactive by having games or activities that everyone can participate in.
Plan a vacation
If you’re feeling the winter blues, consider planning a getaway trip. A change of scenery can do wonders for your mood, and taking regular vacations can even be good for your overall health.
To make the most of a winter camping trip, remember to prepare your gear, cook hearty meals, embrace the winter hike, stay hydrated, keep an eye on the weather, and plan fun winter activities.
If a vacation is not an option, something as simple as driving or visiting a friend’s house can also help refresh your outlook.
Tips for vacationing in the winter:
- Research your destination: Make sure to research your destination’s weather and average temperature to ensure you pack the appropriate clothing and gear.
- Look for deals: Winter is a shoulder season for many destinations, so you can often find great deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars. But stick to your budget, especially if you’re saving for anything, such as a new house.
- Check for holiday events: Many destinations have special holidays, like Christmas markets, ice festivals, and New Year’s Eve celebrations. Check to see if any events are happening during your visit.
- Look for indoor activities: Many destinations have indoor activities, like museums, shopping centers, and spas, that can provide entertainment during colder weather.
- Pack layers: Pack clothing that can be layered, so you can easily adjust to changes in temperature. Bring warm gloves, hats, and scarves to keep yourself warm.
- Consider off-season destinations: If you’re looking for a more secluded vacation, consider visiting destinations that are usually crowded during the summer months.
Need a new home this winter? Talk to Homefinity
Don’t let the winter blues get you down! Homefinity can help you get your dream home to hibernate in or refinance for that dream winter vacation.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and start your home search!
Photo by Frans van Heerden