This article is written by Kevin S.
With the transition from fall to winter comes many beautiful changes, from the first snowfall to the start of the holiday season. However, with the good comes the bad, or more like the SAD: seasonal affective disorder. The transition from fall to winter can be a changeling one for many as you spend hours indoors, and the feeling of sadness and fatigue takes over.
If you’re in need of advice to help beat your soon-be winter blues, then read on for helpful tips to turn your smile upside down!
1. Keep Active
It’s hard enough staying active when the sun is shining and the weather is warm, but when the temperature starts to drop and the winter wind comes in, exercise is the last thing you want to do. However, exercise during the winter months can be extremely beneficial to your overall health. Physical activity during the colder months can not only prevent illness but boost your overall mood and help with any anxiety or stress. It’s also a great reason to get outside if the temperature permits. Exercising in colder weather forces your heart and body to work harder to pump blood for a stronger heart, while also burning more calories.
If fitness is still fairly new territory, then focus on training your functional fitness. Functional fitness focuses on improving the basics, like coordination or flexibility, before jumping into strength and endurance. Fitness apps are great for those beginning to workout, who need help arranging a daily routine, or simply tracking progress. For those not looking to embrace the cold, there are also a slew of online videos to help you get your at home workout started. Whatever your method, staying active will help you stay strong and mentally healthy during the changing seasons.
2. Eat Well
Maintaining your physical activity means nothing if not paired with a healthy diet. However, you might find yourself struggling to put down the sweets more than usual. Wintertime often triggers a biological change in your body that stimulates hunger and cravings, causing you to overindulge. Although there is nothing wrong with going for that second slice or pizza or extra cupcake, make sure you’re eating more than junk food.
Your brain needs quality food, and overly processed foods can not only lead to obesity but also issues like heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Create healthy eating habits by finding healthy alternatives to your favorite snacks. Or, try incorporating fruits and veggies that promote better overall health and can have a positive impact on your mood, like broccoli or carrots. If the holiday season is causing stress, then use food as a tool. There are a multitude of foods that help fight stress and are proven to help you find your inner balance.
3. Take A Day
When was the last time you did something for yourself? If you can’t remember then it might be time to make time for you. Creating and developing a personalized self-care routine is so crucial to your overall happiness. During the winter months, when the days become shorter and nights become longer, you may find yourself in a slump of sadness or laziness. That’s why you have to be ready with a self-care plan in case negative feelings start to overwhelm you.
Carve out an hour a day or a whole day that is all about you. Whether that be reading unbothered for an hour or taking a bubble bath every night, do things that bring you joy. If you find that an activity with a friend or upcoming event isn’t bringing you happiness, put yourself first, and cancel. Dedicating time to yourself builds self-esteem and helps you find your safe space. If you’re not sure what to do then take up a hobby or activity. Finding an activity you love can relax and be beneficial to your mental health.
4. Find Your Village
Maintaining your mental and physical health isn’t always easy, but remember, you’re not alone. Everyone struggles with some form of their own problems, so learn to lean on your friends or family when you need that extra support and encouragement. However, for those finding it challenging to find happiness in everyday activities, or still struggling with their day-to-day life, consider visiting an online psychiatrist that can better diagnose and evaluate you. Seeking help from a professional can help you get down to the root cause of your sadness and help you feel like yourself again.
It’s also important to leave your house, so plan a morning walk with your best friend to soak up that much-needed vitamin C. Planning a special night out with your friends or family can also give you something to look forward to. Many believe that the increase in negative emotions during the winter is caused by a lack of sunlight. So if you are still finding it difficult to get out of the house, light therapy is a way to treat the body’s lack of sunlight by exposure to artificial light that mimics outdoor light to lift your mood.
Don’t let the seasonal change bring you down. The worst thing you can do for your mental and physical health is surrender to your negative feelings. Once you learn new tools to combat your winter blues, you’ll be ready to take on anything. Remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s only a couple of months away!
What helps you transition from fall to winter and feel better during the cold, dark months?
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