The combination of cold weather, short days, credit card debt from the holidays, and overall lack of motivation for fulfilling those New Year’s resolutions can have a negative affect on your mood. Don’t despair: spring will be here before you know it! Until then, I’ve got some tips that will lift your spirits and help you beat the winter blues.
Exercise: Everyone knows that exercise releases endorphins, but studies show that exercise can be more effective in treating depression than pharmaceuticals? I’m not advising anyone to go off their medication by any means, but I want to illustrate the power of simply moving your body!
Get outdoors: Being outside releases the feel-good hormone serotonin, which also helps to prevent depression. Be aware that getting enough sunlight is more difficult in the winter months, since our days are shortened. Make sure you’re taking at least 10 minutes to be outside everyday, whether it’s during a lunch break or walking your dog, just make sure to get some time outside.
Spend time with loved ones: As humans, we crave attention and affection. With our busy schedules, we sometimes go through the motions with our spouse or loved ones. A simple hug releases A feel-good hormone called oxytocin, which is also known as the “cuddle” hormone. Don’t underestimate the power of getting affection from loved ones, or even from your pet. Make sure you’re spending quality time with people you love and that you’re getting the affection and attention you need.
Plan a vacation: Living in New York, I’ve learned it’s wise to plan a warm weather getaway right in the middle of winter to break up the weeks of frigid temperatures. Another strategy is to begin to plan your spring or summer vacation now. Simply having something to look forward to is a sure fire way for lifting your spirits!
Keep a gratitude journal: There’s no more powerful tool for beating the blues, than being thankful for what you have. No matter how bad your day may seem, most of us live charmed lives by comparison to others around the world. The added benefit to this daily practice is that over time you’ll notice that you have more and more to be thankful for.
Embrace the season: The winter months are meant to be the season for rest. The long cold nights are a perfect time to give your body a break from the hustle bustle of the rest of the year, so allow yourself this time to relax without feeling guilty. Spend more evenings at home reading a good book and catching up on your Netflix.
To your health,