IT might not seem like it right now, but winter isn’t that far away. There are blue skies outside your window and soaring temperatures everywhere you look. But this is the perfect time to think about getting a head start on plans to make those darker months a little easier.
Winter can bring with it a sense of gloom and sluggishness. You might have heard of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and you might already know you suffer from it. The shorter days, colder temperatures, and lack of sunshine can take a toll. However, there are several simple steps you can take to beat the winter blues.
Embrace Natural Light
One of the main reasons we struggle during the winter is that we’re getting less natural light. The lack of sunlight can disrupt our circadian rhythm and affect our mood and energy levels. To combat this, try to spend time outdoors during daylight hours. Take a walk during your lunch break or schedule outdoor activities on the weekends. Additionally, try to position yourself near windows or open blinds to allow as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.
Give Your Bedroom A Fresh New Look
Your bedroom plays a significant role in your overall well-being, and making it a cosy and inviting space can positively impact your mood. Consider giving your bedroom a makeover to create a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation. Here are some simple steps to freshen up your bedroom:
- Declutter: Start by decluttering your space and getting rid of unnecessary items. A clean and organised bedroom can help promote a sense of calmness.
- Repaint or redecorate: Consider repainting the walls in soothing colours like blues or pastels, which can create a serene atmosphere. A good painter will be able to talk to you about what’s going to work in your space and collaborate with you to find a result you’re happy with. You can find great local painters and decorators at MyBuilder. Painters and decorators near you can bid on your project, and you can see all their reviews from past clients.
- Improve lighting: Install warm and dimmable lighting fixtures to create a cosy ambience. You can also incorporate fairy lights or candles for a touch of warmth and tranquillity.
- Add plants: Indoor plants not only add a touch of greenery but also improve air quality and enhance overall well-being. Choose low-maintenance plants such as spider plants or pothos that thrive in indoor environments.
- Invest in comfortable bedding: Upgrade your mattress, pillows, and blankets to create a comfortable and restful sleeping environment. Choose fabrics that feel cosy and warm, such as flannel or microfiber.
By giving your bedroom a fresh new look, you’ll have a welcoming space to retreat to during the cold winter months.
Prioritise Physical Activity
Staying active is crucial for both your physical and mental health, especially during the winter months. Regular exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Engage in activities that you enjoy so you’re more likely to stick with them. You can join a gym, go jogging when the weather’s not too bad, or you could even get into winter sports like ice skating or skiing. If outdoor activities are limited due to weather conditions, consider indoor exercises such as home workouts or swimming at a local indoor pool. Physical activity not only helps beat the winter blues but also improves sleep boosts immunity and increases overall energy levels.
Incorporate Light Therapy
Light therapy is an effective treatment for SAD and can help alleviate symptoms of the winter blues. Lightboxes, which emit bright artificial light, mimic natural sunlight and can be used at home or in the office. Sit in front of a lightbox for about 30 minutes each morning to help regulate your circadian rhythm and elevate your mood. It’s worth talking to a healthcare professional to ensure that this is suitable for you. They’ll be able to help you figure out the correct intensity and duration of light exposure.
During the winter months, it’s essential to prioritize self-care to maintain a positive mindset. Try to make sure you’re getting enough fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid too many sugary and processed foods because they can contribute to mood swings and fatigue. You also need to stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water can have a real impact on your mood and energy levels.
Establish a consistent sleep routine and make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep. Create a sleep-friendly environment by keeping your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. You should also stay connected with friends and family, even if it means meeting virtually or over the phone.
The winter blues can be challenging but you can proactively tackle it. By embracing natural light, giving your bedroom a fresh new look, prioritising physical activity, incorporating light therapy, and practising self-care, you can get ahead of the winter blues and stay vibrant and motivated. Remember that you should always talk to a healthcare professional if you’re even a little bit worried.