3 Research-Backed Coping Strategies To Help You Beat The Winter Blues
While the winter ushers in things to look forward to, like reconnecting with your family during the holidays or having some time off work, the season is also known to bring gloomy days that often result in depressed or low moods.
You are not alone if you deal with the winter blues or its official name, Seasonal Affective Disorder, year after year. The cold weather and shorter days affect millions of people around the world. So if you’ve felt down lately, try out these coping strategies below to boost your mood and find some relief this winter season:
1. Get moving.
As much as the cold weather might deter you from hitting the gym, exercise is a natural mood booster that you should leverage to feel better during the winter months.
If going to the gym isn’t your thing, try running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour. According to Harvard Health Publishing, just doing either of these two activities has the power to reduce the risk of major depression, so give it a try and see if you don’t feel just a little better after.
2. Catch some rays.
Even though the days are shorter in the winter, it’s important that you still try your best to make the most of the little sunlight you have in order to increase the production of serotonin in your brain, aka the “feel-good” hormone.
Take more walks during the daytime, get outdoors, or work near a window that has direct sunlight. The more light you can let in during the winter months, the better.
3. Reach out to your loved ones.
It’s normal to want to stay indoors or become more isolated than usual during the colder months, but breaking this habit can help you boost your happiness and promote better health overall.
Next time you’re feeling down, push yourself to invite a friend over, or head outdoors to spend time with the people in your community. You might find that social activity is the best pick-me-up during the SAD season.
Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
The winter months are a tough time for a lot of people, so don’t feel ashamed to seek more help if you can’t do it on your own. You can reach out to your primary care physician or use PsychologyToday.com to find a therapist or psychiatrist near you.