5 Ways to Help You Cope with the Winter Blues

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It is rather common to feel irritated, tired or outright sad during the winter months. The winter blues, also referred to as a seasonal affective disorder, affect millions of people every year. For some, it is a manageable up and down with the seasons. For others, it becomes a full-fledged depression that drags them down when winter comes. Here are five ways to help you cope with the winter blues that are sure to help almost anyone suffering from this condition.

Keep Active

On a dark winter day, it can be hard to pull yourself out of bed. However, it is even more important to get up and get going. Keep up with work, school and social obligations instead of retreating to your bed.

Staying active is an absolute must if you want to ward away the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Exercise can help in many ways and maintaining an active lifestyle will help you regulate your mood in many ways.  Whether you hit the gym or the yoga mat, get active if you want to stave off the blues. You’ll reap an added bonus if you try something new, since learning something new also stimulates the brain. You could take up dancing or try a new workout, for instance, if you want to keep things interesting.

Find Someone to Talk To

Isolation worsens depression. One way to feel better is to talk to someone about how you’re doing. They could help simply by acting as a sounding board, helping you find the positives in your life or maintaining perspective. In some cases, they may have dealt with something similar and could give you tips. However, you want to make sure you’re hanging with positive people so that your get-together doesn’t end up making you feel worse. If your blues are getting worse or making it hard to function, then you should consider talking to a professional.

Lighten Up

The seasonal reduction in sunlight affects your circadian rhythm or biological clock. One solution is turning on the overhead lights and lamps in your home. Spending a lot of time outside during the daytime is another option. For those in dark climates or coping with a severe case of the winter blues, you may want to invest in a light box or lamp that mimics natural outdoor light. If you can’t afford a sun box, find out if the local health club has one you can sit in front of.

If you’re sensitive to cold, the winter blues make things even harder, but you could make it more bearable by keeping your home both warm and bright. Take it as your perfect excuse to sit by the fire tonight. If you don’t have a fireplace, maybe you could sit by one at a coffee shop instead.

Consider Supplements That Could Lift Your Mood

There are plenty of supplements that can help you deal with winter blues symptoms. One of the main reasons why many people feel down during the winter is due to lesser vitamin D production. Vitamin D production is dependent on sunlight, and since we get much less sunlight during the winter months, a lot of us end up being deficient.

However, it is possible to get this Vitamin D from supplementation. It is surprising how many diseases are correlated with low vitamin D levels – including depression. The NIH recommends consuming at least 600 international units a day, though others recommend taking up to 5000 IU per day. You could also get it from cod liver oil or salmon, or you could look at supplements that provide it and any other micronutrients you need.

Some companies create compounds especially to combat some of the symptoms of affective seasonal disorder. Companies like Metagenics, for instance, have a wide variety of formulas to regulate mood, control anxiety and help with sleep regulation among other things. If you want more details, you can find Metagenics products online at Blue Sky Vitamin.

Adopt a Positive Mindset

What you focus on determines what you think about and how you feel. Try your hardest not to focus on the negatives. Instead, take stock of the positive things in your life. You could create a gratitude journal or take some time to post about the positive things happening in your life on social media.

For some, the seasonal depression is brought on by feeling trapped inside. Try to find reasons to love winter. Maybe you could get the gear to go ice-skating or ice-fishing; you could start running in the snow or have a snowball fight; or maybe learn how to ride a snowmobile if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous. Anything that can get you out to enjoy the weather. Who knows, maybe you’ll turn into a winter lover and start looking forward to the winter months instead of dreading them.

Winter causes many of us to slow down, lose focus and feel tired. However, there are many things you can do to fight the winter blues. Try a few options on our list to see what works the best for you.