Hey everyone! Today wanted to chat about a topic that I think many people can relate to right now. I am sure that I am not alone in saying this, but sometimes the weather really does have an effect on my mood. I feel like I thrive when it’s sunny and warm, but when it’s dark, cold, rainy, or all three, I tend to struggle just a bit more. There are certain things that I enjoy during each season, and I find them all beautiful, however winter would probably be my least favorite. Luckily for me, where I live it doesn’t get too cold. Still, I have noticed that the cold weather can sometimes bring me down, so I wanted to share this post in the hopes of tackling the winter blues together!
This topic is actually something that has been studied over time, and there is actually a disorder attached to it called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (or SAD). Now, I do want to say that just because you may not feel as happy or as motivated during a certain season or time of year, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have this disorder. I just wanted to mention it because it is actually something that people can have. I recommend looking into it further or speaking to a healthcare professional if you truly believe that you have this. Read more about SAD here and here.
Part of what has been helping me is the fact that it is a new year! I’ve slowly been getting my motivation back, and I’ve been completing daily tasks, which feels great! While my mood has been pretty good overall, and I have been feeling more motivated, this is not the case every single day. The changing of seasons can affect us all differently, and it is very common for people to oversleep, have low energy, a lack of motivation, and feelings of depression or loneliness once fall and winter come around. It can be hard to get out of bed or feel productive on these days, but there are ways to combat these feelings!
First things first: it is completely ok to have a day (or a few days) when you simply allow yourself to relax and take a breather. Remember that rest is productive, and you deserve to take some time for yourself, whether that means taking an hour at the end of every day to unwind, or even taking a full day to do whatever you want. Balance is important though, so just make sure that you don’t spend day after day sitting around because this can very quickly turn into a habit, making work, school, or other important tasks much more difficult.
I wanted to share a few tips with you all on how to stop the winter blues in its tracks!
- Wake up with the sun
Since it gets dark early these days, it can make the days feel shorter, and you may feel like you don’t have a lot of time to get things done. While we can’t control this, we can control our mindsets and our actions. It is important to have a sleeping schedule that allows you to feel refreshed and alive in the mornings! It is not at all fun to wake up and feel like a zombie for half of the day. I know it can be challenging, but if possible, you should try to get about 8 hours of sleep. I’ve noticed that when I sleep too little or I sleep too much, I never feel very great. It is an amazing feeling to wake up and feel ready to take on the day, so if you can, create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. It may take time, as it does to form any habit, but this is so beneficial for so many reasons! This is something I am still working on myself!
- Get outside
I know what some of you may be thinking: why on earth would I go outside when it’s freezing?! Trust me, I understand! I don’t always love to be outside when it’s dark or rainy, and especially not if it’s super cold! However, I think it is still very important. We need our vitamin D and it’s always good to get some exercise too! If it’s not extremely cold where you are, I think it would be great to bundle up and get outdoors. Whether you go for a walk or run, or play some kind of sport, this can be a really great way to get over the winter blues!
I know I just mentioned this, but exercise can make such a difference in your mood! Even if you aren’t a fan of working out, you can’t deny the amazing feeling after a great sweat sesh! If it’s just too cold, or you can’t really do your workout outdoors, you can roll out a yoga mat or grab some dumbbells and get your fitness on inside! This will not only wake up the body and keep you strong and healthy, but it will also warm you up on a cold winter day! It doesn’t matter if you do a 10 minute yoga session, a 30 minute cardio burn, or an hour long weight training session! As long as you get up and get moving, you’ll be sure to feel the benefits!
- Keep a planner
This is something that I absolutely love to do! This year, I made it a resolution to write down everything I would like to do in a day or week, no matter how small. It could be working out, it could be cleaning, or it could be school/work related! I’ve been doing this a little over a week now, and I have already recognized how helpful it is! I used to only write down school related tasks in my planners, but writing down everything really helps me to manage my time better, and I feel accomplished at the end of the day when I am able to cross off each item! So, even on days when the weather isn’t ideal, I can still feel good when my head hits the pillow at night!
- Cook some comfort food
It is so nice to sit back and enjoy your favorite warm comfort foods! It can be a hot bowl of your favorite winter soup, a traditional family recipe, or even some cake! Of course, I always recommend eating healthy foods, but it’s also important to listen to your body, and on a day when you may not be feeling your absolute best, it is ok to indulge a little bit! For me personally, a healthy diet is a balanced diet. I am doing my best to incorporate healthier foods into my meals, while also enjoying something small and sweet (pretty much daily). Don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember that you are allowed to enjoy your favorite meals. I mentioned this previously, but as long as you do not start any negative eating habits, then you’ll be alright! Try not to make any drastic changes to your diet overnight, and remember that food should be enjoyed!
- Express gratitude daily
This is such a simple thing to do, yet so many people forget to do it. I know that right now, the days may seem so similar, and maybe the winter blues are really getting you down. I understand completely! But even if you don’t do any of the things I listed here today, please do this. Every morning when you wake up, or every night before you go to bed (or both), try to think about or speak about the things that you are grateful for. This truly is such an amazing habit to form because once you start, you’ll notice that you will soon express your gratitude without even thinking about it! I’ve been doing this a lot more often lately, and I have to say, I have directly seen how it can change your life! I strongly believe that what you put out into the world will somehow make its way back to you. So, when you have a positive mindset and you speak, write, or think about your gratefulness, you will attract even more to be grateful for!
I really hope that you found this post helpful, and if you know someone who can benefit from reading this, please share this with them too! It is so important to take care of our mental, physical, and emotional health, and to encourage others to do the same! Know that your mind is a very powerful thing, and you do have the ability to control your thoughts and your actions. While it is easier said than done, you have to do your absolute best to get out of bed in the morning, think positive thoughts about the day ahead, and try to find that healthy balance of productivity and relaxation. It can take time, but you don’t have to let the weather affect you negatively. Try to find the beauty in it, because even if you don’t see it right away, it’s always there.
Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!