Between the short days and the frigid temperatures, the winter can bring out the blues in anyone, even those who aren’t typically prone to depression. In fact, up to 10 million people are thought to be suffering from seasonal depression in the United States alone.
While there’s little to be done except waiting out the winter when it comes to the cold, there are plenty of ways to improve your mood when that wintertime sadness comes knocking. Before you resign yourself to another sad season, try these easy tips to beat the winter blues:
Eat your vegetables
While it’s undeniably easier to stay in and order takeout when it’s snowy and cold outside, maintaining a healthy, vegetable-rich diet will serve you better in the long run. Instead of turning to fattening, sugary comfort foods, try treating yourself to some leafy greens or a steak; according to research published in BMC Psychiatry, iron-rich foods are associated with a reduced risk of mental health issues.
Hit the gym
Want to increase your energy while boosting your mood? Try going for a run or signing up for a class at your gym. Not only does moving your body boost circulation, helping you feel healthier while reducing inflammation that can cause pain, it’s also a great way to flood your body with endorphins. Fortunately, these feel-good chemicals might just be the perfect solution for those winter blues.
While there’s little to be done except waiting out the #winter when it comes to the cold, there are plenty of ways to improve your #mood when that wintertime #sadness comes knocking. Click To Tweet
Before you turn to medication, try turning to the tap in your kitchen. Research suggests that even minor dehydration can have a profoundly negative effect on our mood, so if you’re feeling down during the winter, make sure you’re still getting those eight glasses of water a day.
Keep up with your friends
It’s always easier to sit at home and catch up on TV when it’s cold outside, but spending time with members of your inner circle might keep you healthier mentally. Regular socialization is linked to lower rates of depression, so make sure to grab a drink, get dinner, or hit the gym with a pal at least once a week.
Get plenty of sleep
Beating those winter blues starts with a good night’s rest. Getting too little sleep, or low-quality sleep, can make anyone feel down, but committing to eight hours of rest a night can fix that in no time, boosting your mood and your overall health in one fell swoop.
Short of packing up and moving, it might not be possible to avoid winter entirely, but you can still beat the winter blues that pop up when the temperature dips. With just a few changes to your regular routine and some well-deserved self-care, you’ll be feeling more like yourself again, no matter how low the temperature dips.
Guest post by Candice Schaffer
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