Have you been feeling a little low lately? You are not alone – Winter Blues is a real thing. For many of us, a lack of sunlight can cause a number of issues. Less energy and motivation, less happy feelings, and generally a bit of a low mood. But don’t worry, we can fix this. Read on for our 10 tips to beat the winter blues.
If you’re anything like us, you probably started the New Year with a bang – full of motivation and a long list of goals and resolutions. 2020 will be the Best Year Ever! But somehow, as soon as the fireworks have died down, your own spark seems to do the same. You seem to have less energy, and are generally feeling a bit… bleh. Know what we’re saying?
Why You Are Feeling SAD
There’s a simple reason why you might be feeling a little SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder. During the dark winter months, many of us do not get enough sunlight. It might not sound like a big deal, but the lack of sunlight makes our brain work overtime to produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates our sleeping patterns and overall body clock. The result? Our bodies are craving more sleep than during the summer time. We tend to feel tired, we have less energy and motivation to go out and do things. And yes, this can absolutely affect our mood: we can be irritated more easily, or just downright sad. Luckily, there are a number of things that we can do to pick ourselves back up and make it through the rest of this winter.
10 Tips to Beat The Winter Blues
- Be kind to yourself. This is true throughout all seasons, but especially right now. Know that what you are experiencing is pretty normal and no need to worry. Just like nature, we can’t expect that we bloom and blossom all year long. You need to recharge as well. Listen to yourself carefully. If you’re craving more rest, why not give in to that craving? Now is the time.
- Get moving. Yes, we just told you to get some rest. But moving your body is just as important. Working out creates endorphins in your body, which give you a natural boost of happy feelings. Hit the gym or follow your favorite yoga class. Pro tip: with an at-home yoga practice, you don’t even have to leave the house! 😊
- Go outside. Think of yourself as a little flower – you really, really need the sunlight! ☀ Try to go outside more during the day if you can. Even if it’s grey and gloomy, the natural light will do you good, especially between 11:00 and 14:00. Do you have a few minutes after lunch? Why not go for a short walk around the block?
- Take vitamin D. If the natural daylight is not enough, you might want to think about taking some vitamin D supplements to support your body. Good to know: the further away you are from the equator, the more important it is to get another vitamin D source throughout the winter. (You may want to consult your doctor before adding any supplements.)
- Get a regular sleep schedule. We know it, the darkness is so tempting. When your alarm goes off in the morning and it’s still pitch black outside, it’s extra hard to get up. That makes it even more important to get out of bed right away. (You snooze, you lose.) Getting up around the same time every morning, and going to bed at the same time at night, is how you teach your body clock to beat the darkness.
- Nourish your body. Winter is the perfect time to get creative in the kitchen. Cook your favorite meals and try out new recipes as well. Add extra veggies for a boost of vitamins. Try to stay away from fatty and processed foods though, and choose natural, plant-based ingredients instead. Your body will thank you.
- Cuddle up. Let’s be honest, darkness and lousy weather can be the best excuse to just stay at home and become one with the couch. Cuddle up with your loved ones, partner, kids, or pets here. The physical touch releases oxytocin, the cuddle hormone. We don’t have to tell you that this will make you feel good, right? ❤
- Talk to someone. Social interaction is well-known for the positive effects on your stress levels, mood and overall health. Get together with friends, join a workout group and volunteer to get in touch with others. If you think you might suffer from something more than a little seasonal dip, seeking professional support might be another helpful step.
- Try light therapy. Research shows that during the darker months, artificial light used in special light boxes can help improve your energy levels and mood. The white or blue light basically mimics the sun, so 20-30 minutes per day can already have a positive impact. We have personally tested this and can highly recommend giving this a try!
- Meditate. Of course we are a little biased here at Urban Goddess. We will always recommend a regular meditation practice for all its beautiful benefits. But especially during the winter, just a few minutes of meditation per day can do wonders. Calm your mind, lift your spirits. And if it doesn’t help to wake you up, at least meditation will help you be patient until spring finally arrives. 🙏
How about you? Do you feel the impact of the dark winter months? What are your tips to beat the winter blues?
Get in touch with us here or via social media – we always love hearing from you! 🙏