Turning the clock back one hour can only mean one thing, the season of eternal darkness is here. If shorter days and longer nights make you feel fatigued, depressed and out of wack you are not alone. According to the The American Academy of Family Physicians, around 4 to 6% of Americans clinically suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to fight the winter blues.
1. Wake up Early
This way you will enjoy as many sunny hours as you can. Even though it may be harder to get out of your warm bed in the winter months, starting your day earlier can regulate your hours of sleep and make you be more productive.
2. Go Outside
Exercising in the morning or going for a stroll at lunch time can make a huge impact in your mood. Not only will the sun give you a boost of energy, but the endorphins realized during exercise will help you feel happier and in a better mood.
3. Have a Morning Dance Party
“Daybreaker” is a popular morning dance party that turns your normal workout routine into a wellness rave. This morning parties are usually held at surprise locations, feature live DJs, zen yoga hour and healthy bites. Walking up like this, has to be the funnest way to start your day.
4. Fill up your Social Calendar
The cold and dark outside your home makes you want to stay in by yourself, but isolation won’t work in your favor. Try to resist the urge to stay in and make an effort to keep yourself busy. Go out with your friends, go watch a movie, pick up a new hobby, just try to find a reason to leave your bed.
5. Try a Light Box
Light boxes might be a weird concept, but there is no shame in trying it out for yourself. These boxes provide a balanced expect rum light that can help you regulate your body’s circadian rhythms and suppress the excess release of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Just 20 min of exposure to this light, can make a world of difference.
6. Increase your Vitamin D intake
Vitamin D has been proven to help regulate people’s mood. Foods like salmon, milk and eggs in your diet, can help you add to your daily vitamin D intake.
7. Use Essential Oils
Studies have shown that sone essential oils have antidepressant properties. These holistic oils can be incorporated into baths, skin care routines, air diffusers etc. Rose, lavender, and bergamot are great to reduce stress, help relaxation and alleviate anxiety.
8. Stop Using your Phone so Much
There has been a recent trend of articles linking social media to depression. Fight the urge to spend time on social media by turning off your phone. Take better advantage of your time by meditating or reading a book instead.
9. Wear Yellow
The color yellow has been proven to make people feel better. If you incorporate more yellow to your wardrobe you might encounter yourself feeling more optimistic and overall, happier.
10. Take a Vacation
The idea of taking a vacation can make you feel happier any time of the year, but it can make you feel especially better when you have the chance to escape the cold weather and go somewhere warm and sunny.