It’s that time of year again – you’re stuck indoors, wishing snowmen wound turn into sand castles and ski goggles were sunglasses. Seasonal affective disorder is just as sad as its acronym – but it’s actually a real disorder that many people suffer with during the dark winter months. According to the Mayo Clinic, people experience behavioral and emotional problems that lead to difficulty feeling happy, productive and even creative. That is sad – the good news is there’s quite a few things you can do to beat the winter blues.
It’s all about keeping you motivated and distracted. How can you do this? It’s a three step process: workout, shop and travel:
These are the months when chocolate and heavy mac and cheese sound like the best options. When you look out the window and see the accumulating snow you think, “Yes, my bed is my safe place.” So you binge hours of Netflix series promising yourself that “this is the last one” after each one ends and another one begins. It’s a dangerous cycle but you have to break it to be happy again. The Guardian explained that getting a good workout will do wonders to boost your confidence. When you feel good about yourself, it’s hard to feel sad. Plus, when you don’t slack off in the winter you’ll be months ahead of everyone starting to diet and train for bikini-body season.
With good exercise, comes good diet. You know this. So when the sweets and carbs cravings start torturing you from within, just know that they will only make you feel worse if you indulge. Find an alternative. Healthline wellness blog suggested grabbing some fresh berries when you get a craving for sweets. Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are all yummy summer fruits, but the source says they also help in stressful situations by preventing the release of cortisol, a hormone that creates emotional responses. Berries will help keep you calm even during your darkest days.
It doesn’t hurt to treat yourself to some new staples in your wardrobe. During the winter, colors tend to get muted and you see too many shades of grey and black, so why not try brightening up your wardrobe a little more? InStyle Magazine gave women everywhere the okay to wear florals in the winter – though the magazine recommended going for darker florals, you can tone your favorites down with a new cardigan. You don’t have to go crazy, maybe use your accessories to add a pop of flair to your outfit. Use your BABY-G to break up the doldrums.
You may have noticed how early clothing stores get ready for new seasons, which might be a tease, but consider this a good thing. Pick out a couple of items that you can look forward to wearing once it gets nice out again.
You have to get away. The Guardian explained that you need to let some light back in your life. If you live in an area that’s nothing but grey skies November through March, it’s time to book a trip to the find the sun. Not only will this satisfy your body’s need for vitamin D, but it will also give you something to look forward to.
But if you can’t budget a trip – make a point to get more light in your life. Simply open the curtains and pull up the shades. Don’t turn your apartment into a cave. You can also purchase lights that simulate real sunlight, just in case the windows aren’t letting enough light in.
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