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  • Sarah Tian

5 Ways to Overcome Your Winter Blues

Winter has always been my favorite season - mostly because it's the only long season that does not have pollen so I can finally avoid the constant sneezing and nose-blowing from my allergies! This is why I survived 8 years living in Minnesota! I also love snow and how it makes the world look so bright, shiny and just magical!


Moreover, my favorite hobbies happen to be indoors so winter is the perfect season for me to enjoy more time doing indoor activities like reading, playing the piano and drawing!


It's the time of the year where I can spend more time in my happy place (without the distraction of the excitement of the outside world in the summers): curl up under my furry and cozy blanket, drink hot tea, read a great book and write an article!


Of course, I do feel that my energy level dropping as the sun sets in the afternoon and being less active in general compared to the warmer and brighter times of the year.


I know that many have it worse. Winter times trigger feelings of sadness and make many of us feel sluggish and lacking motivation. In fact, 5% of adults in the U.S. experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and experience mood changes similar to depression during this time.

So here are 5 tips to help you overcome your winter blues and feel more energized during this time of the year:


💡1. Increase Light Exposure: Wake up early, walk outside, look out the window, work close to a window & use a happy light.


Set your alarm so you wake up right around when the sun rises! This will maximize your exposure to sunlight. If you happen to live in a place where you can see the sun rise, that will give you some extra motivation to wake up!


You can also take a walk outside in the morning before work or during your lunch break to absorb as much sun as possible!


Even if you don't get the chance to go outside, simply looking out of the window for 10 minutes as you drink your morning coffee, can allow ample light into your eyes to boost your energy for the day!


Also, try sitting close to and/or facing the window, if possible, to get more light into your eyes throughout the day.


Lastly, try using happy lights! A Happy Light provides supplemental full spectrum light that prompts your body’s natural energy enhancers to help you relax, focus and feel revitalized. It improves mood and energy by triggering the release of serotonin and improves sleep and focus by resetting your circadian rhythm to its natural state and regulating melatonin.


💡2. Brainstorm some indoor activities you enjoy doing at home!


Some ideas include:

  • Cook/bake something new

  • Do something creative: draw/paint something for fun

  • Play that instrument that you haven't played for a long time

  • Read a book you've always wanted to read

  • Invite friends over for dinner, board-games and movie nights

  • Grow some indoor plants



💡3. Find reasons to celebrate!


The winter can feel-like it's never ending after the year-end holidays. During this toughest time of the winter, find every reason to celebrate! There is probably something you can celebrate every day if you think hard enough! Having this celebratory mindset will make you search for all the things that are going well in your life each day and make your days feel more special!


For example, I learned to shovel snow for the first time yesterday - I think that is a perfect reason to celebrate! ;)


💡4. Take a power nap!


There are going to be days you just need to rest and take a power nap after a long-day of work. Be sure to give yourself the permission to do so without feeling guilty about it. Your body sometimes just needs a reboot! Even a 15 minute nap can me you instantly feel rejuvenated! Be sure to set an alarm so you don't take too long of a nap that disrupts your night-time sleep!


💡5. Give yourself something to look forward to every day or week.


Since the pandemic, I built the habit of writing down a few things on a note paper beginning of each week all the activities that I look forward to doing that week. It doesn't have to be big events or something extra special. It could be as simple as trying to do something new, like trying out a new recipe or learning how to re-pot a plant, or calling a family member or friend.


As a winter lover and someone who tends to thrive in this season, I really hope you can also find your own ways to enjoy winters! :)

 

Take Action!


Try out 1 way to overcome your winter blues this week!

 

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