We’ve all been there – that feeling of lethargy and laziness coupled with some sadness during the winter. If you’re like me and live where it gets cold enough that even outdoor winter fun isn’t actually fun, then don’t fret! There are still some scientifically-backed ways you can beat those “winter blues!”
The best way to get out of that “funk” is to get more vitamin D and the best way to get it is from the sun.
But that works a lot better if you live in a place that’s sunny with some warm enough days in the winter be outside. Where I live, six feet of standing snow is normal by March and -20 is a temperature seen fairly regularly. So what if you live somewhere similar and going outside to get that powerful dose of Vitamin D is not an option?
Here are 5 additional ways to fight back and beat the “winter blues.”
1. Try to Give Your Skin a LOT of Attention
There’s no denying that your skin looks better in the summer, with its sun-kissed glow and fresh dewiness thanks to the humidity. There’s also no denying that as temperatures and humidity levels plummet, all that cold, dry air takes a toll on your complexion. Some are even left with such dry skin that the flaking and peeling is noticeable. I’m one of those people! But if I take the time to make sure my skin feels good, I feel good. That’s why fall is the perfect time to up your skin game. Spend some time finding a high-quality oil to sleep in. There’s no need to spend a lot here, in fact, I love both the squalane and argan oils from The Ordinary, and you can’t beat the price! Talk to your dermatologist about the best topical ingredients to use for your particular skin. Having great skin boosts confidence and makes us all happier!
2. Simulate Dawn
People with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that usually begins in late fall or early winter and fades as the weather improves, may feel depressed, irritable, lethargic, and have trouble waking up in the morning, especially because it’s still dark out! Studies show that a dawn simulator, a device that creates lights in your bedroom that gradually brighten over a set period of time, can serve as an antidepressant and make it easier to get out of bed.
According to science, ladling out soup at the local shelter or volunteering your time can improve mental health and life satisfaction. Spend time tutoring kids for free or clean kennels at your local animal shelter or foster kittens or puppies. The idea is to find something that you love and are passionate about. Helping others will give you a sense of purpose and a good reason to get up and move around!
4. Listen To Music Often
In a 2013 study, researchers showed that listening to upbeat or cheery music significantly improved the participant’s mood in both the short and long term. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big fan of Metallica. When things get crazy outside and the weather is all but unbearable, I’ll rock out to my favorite band while I cook dinner or clean the house. Having the music on makes me feel like moving around more and singing along! I can’t NOT be happy when I listen to Metallica.
5. Plan Your Summer Vacation
Research shows that the simple act of planning a vacation causes a significant increase in overall happiness. It really doesn’t matter where you go, just pick a place you’d like to visit and start making plans to save money and figure out how to get there! This will give your mental state a quick and effective boost for the better.
Sometimes we just can’t get outside to enjoy anything when the weather is really bad during the winter. But hopefully, these science-backed tips and tricks can help you bust out of your winter funk and stay a little happier when everything else gets gloomy.