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Today’s post is brought to you by Matthew McGarry.
Winter is getting closer and many people are looking forward to it, but some just can’t stand everything that comes with it. The days are getting shorter, temperatures are getting lower, and the holiday bills are higher than ever, so if you find yourself feeling depressed, irritated and less energetic than usual, here are a few things you can do that’ll help you fight off the winter blues.
Pulling yourself out of your warm bed during winter can be hard, but staying active both physically and mentally will help you cope with the blues. So, go outside and play in the snow with the neighborhood kids, or just take a walk and enjoy the scenery. If you’re not really a fan of snow and the cold, you can hit the gym and start working on your summer body on time. Also, winter is perfect for taking up a new hobby or starting a new project, as it will keep your mind occupied and give you something to look forward to.
Being cold can make you even more depressed, so make sure you’re always comfortable and wearing warm clothes. You can grab a blanket and spend some time reading your favorite books, or you can order some pizza and have a movie night. Hot food and drinks will also keep you warm, so drinking a cup of warm tea while listening to upbeat music can boost your mood as well. Staying warm and enjoying yourself is one of the best ways to handle the blues, so do the things that make you feel happy and comfortable, and you won’t even notice it’s winter.
A healthy diet will give you more energy and stop you from putting on weight during the season. You might crave macaroni and cheese, doughnuts, sweets and similar “comfort” food, but stuffing yourself with such food will only make you feel even more depressed. On the other hand, complex carbs (spinach, yams, broccoli, beans, etc.) take longer to digest, and they increase the levels of serotonin in your body. However, even a healthy diet can’t always provide your body with everything it needs, so enriching it with quality Solgar supplements will give you that boost of energy needed to fight off the drowsy winter mood.
Brighten up your environment
Making your environment brighter – both literally and metaphorically – can cheer you up during the coldest season. Let in as much natural light as you can, go for a walk during the sunniest part of the day, and consider buying a light box; research has shown that sitting next to artificial light, such as a dawn simulator or a light box, can have a positive effect on your mood. You should also focus on the holidays – decorate your Christmas tree, buy festive sweaters, and plan the presents for your loved ones. Think about the positive side of the season and you’ll be surprised how quickly your whole perspective can change.
Don’t lock yourself inside and wait for winter to end just so you can see your friends again; spending time with your friends and family will lift your spirits and help you recharge for the next day. You can go on a winter vacation with your significant other and have fun skiing or snowboarding, or you can escape to a warmer part of the world and soak up some sun. Also, if you don’t really feel like doing anything, just talking about the winter blues can help you deal with it – there is surely somebody you know that’s been through the same and understands how you feel, so they might be able to offer some helpful advice.
The winter blues are not uncommon, and there will always be days when you feel like only a strong cup of coffee can get you out of bed. However, if you stay active, stick to your healthy diet, and have your environment reflect the mood you want to be in, you might even start seeing the beauty of the season.
Mathews McGarry is passionate about many forms of strength training and has spent years lifting, dragging and flipping all manner of heavy objects. After graduating from the Faculty of Health Sciences, he started writing about his experiences, and sharing tips for a better life. He is an all-around fitness adviser and his words are strong as an Australian Bull. You can follow him on his fitness blog Ripped.me, on Twitter and on Facebook.