Winter is traditionally a time for rest, when the shorter days keep many people indoors. Although we could all use a little downtime in our hectic lives, winter can also trigger seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or cause a dip in mood. If you’re looking for ways to boost your mental health this season, we’ve got six tips for you.
1. Let the Light Shine
Ward of the winter blues by getting as much daylight exposure as possible. Open up the curtains, sit closer to windows while the sun’s out. Consider a light therapy box, which emits a bright light that’s meant to mimic natural light and can help prevent against seasonal depression.
2. Turn on the Tunes
Listening to upbeat music is a proven method for promoting happiness, so be sure to crank the feel-good tunes this winter season.
3. Go Outside
Even when temps are chilly, spending time outdoors can be good for you. Being outside can help to lower stress and improve any winter blues you may be experiencing.
4. Eat to Beat the Blues
It’s common to indulge in the winter, but did you know that certain foods can impact mood? Keep your carbohydrate and sugar intake to a minimum and focus on foods rich in omega-3s, such as salmon, walnuts or spinach.
5. Get Your Body Moving
Exercise is a known mood-booster, and working up a sweat during the winter can certainly go a long way in promoting your wellbeing. Experts recommend vigorous activity for 35 minutes a day, five times a week to alleviate mild to moderate depression.
6. Lend a Helping Hand
Volunteering or getting involved in community efforts can enhance your mental health.