Depending on where you live, winter is almost upon us. While some of us may love the rain and moody weather, it can also bring on feelings of gloom for others.
I didn’t used to get the winter blues. Once upon a time, I loved the colder weather as well as listening to the rain and seeing double rainbows brighten up a grey sky.
These days, I long for blue skies, sunshine and weather that isn’t too cold or too warm. It may be because you still have to go to work when it’s cold, wet and windy. It may also be because my partner and I have a lovely border collie, Lana who loves spending time outside and I feel a tinge of guilt when we don’t want to take her outside in the pouring rain.
On days when I’m feeling a little gloomy, uninspired and demotivated, I try to cheer myself up. While I don’t know if you can completely beat the winter blues, I have a few tips which may help you boost your mood.
Tip #1: Get your body moving.
Whether it be jogging on the spot in front of the TV, doing yoga, using a treadmill or doing some strength training, exercise is a known mood booster. It helps you to get your blood pumping and releases endorphins.
I enjoy going for nature walks and hikes when the weather is nice but when it’s pouring down with rain, I don’t find it as fun. So, I turn to my treadmill and go for a jog or use a workout app on my phone to either do a yoga session or workout. Movement is movement and while you may not be able to get fresh air as often as you can during the other seasons, you can still stay fit and healthy.
Tip #2: Eat seasonal foods and limit the amount of processed foods.
Salads in winter may not be your idea of a fun time. So, take the chance to make some slow cooker meals, roasts or soups that will warm you up from the inside out. If you have a look to see what fresh produce is in season for this time of year, you can increase your consumption of your macro and micro nutrients. Not only will eating natural foods make you feel good, it will also help boost your immune system.
If your diet has a high amount of processed foods, try to reduce your intake even if it means swapping a snack or one meal with something natural. There are hidden ingredients in many processed foods such as preservatives, added sugar and sodium. All of these can contribute to you feeling sluggish and tired if your glucose levels are fluctuating.
Tip #3: Connect with loved ones.
As humans, we crave social connection. Where you can, schedule in catch ups with your loved ones. Even though you may need to stay indoors, you can still have a wholesome conversation and spend some quality time together.
If you want to do something together, you could opt for an indoor activity or visit a local cafe or restaurant to share a meal or drink together.
Tip #4: Schedule in some ‘you time.’
If you can, allocate time each day to do something that makes you feel good. It may be having a bath, reading a book, listening to a podcast, doing something artsy or crafty, watching a tv show or movie or something else.
When you can do something that makes you feel good, you can improve your mood. It gives you space to just be yourself, to step away from the white noise and recharge.
Tip #5: Plan a getaway.
I like winter road trips because it gives you the chance to break free of your daily routine and it encourages you to pause. Usually, the weather isn’t the best for being outdoors all day so you have a reason to stay indoors and snuggle up under some blankets and relax.
I hope these tips resonate with you and if you have any of your own tips for beating the winter blues, I’d love to hear about it so please, feel free to comment below.