We all know that the winter months are hard. The dark, cold mornings and nights making it harder to get out of bed and stay up past a certain time. On top of all that, many people have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that makes them feel depressed during these months. Even if you don’t have SAD, the long winter days may still drag you down. There are things you can do to ease that though.
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Making It Through The Winter Months
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Get Vitamin D Supplements
Due to the dark mornings and nights, we are naturally getting less vitamin D than we do during the sunnier months. This can cause a dip in mood and make us feel low. These days you can get vitamin D supplements in a few different ways. Tablets, gummies, and drops. Since we have more variety of ways we can take these, it means that if you aren’t great at taking tablets it doesn’t matter. You can get drops or gummies. In my experience, the gummies have a really nice taste and I highly recommend giving them a try.
Get Outside In The Sun
Although there is less sun during the wintery months, it is still there during the day. As stated above, the sun provides us with vitamin D. Try to get out in the sun as much as possible. If nothing else, getting outside and going for a walk will help you move around and that will naturally make you feel better whether the sun shows itself or not. Of course, if it’s pouring down with rain, you can give it a miss and stay cozy inside watching a film.
Set Your Heating On A Timer During The Winter Months
When you feel the cold coming, it’s time to set your heating on a timer (if that’s an option for you). Set the heating to come on about an hour before you’re due to get up so it’s nice and cozy. Otherwise, it will be cold outside your duvet and make you want to stay in bed for longer. It’s also important to set it to come on before going to bed as well so you can sleep better. Remember, though, to change it back when things start to heat up again.
Keep Up With Your Exercise Routine
It’s so tempting on a cold winter’s evening after work to sit in a blanket on your sofa watching Netflix, but I urge you to keep your normal exercise routine going. Exercise is proven to help with low moods. Of course, you’re allowed a break every now and then, especially during the holidays, but once Christmas and New Year have passed try and get yourself back into your old routine (or make a new one). Personally, I installed a step counting app that also tracks when I use the exercise bike to motivate me.
As we’re currently stuck in a lockdown in many different countries, this is more important than ever. Normally we have Christmas or birthday parties to look forward to, but we don’t even have that now. Make sure you’re reaching out to your friends, making sure they’re okay, and organising social activities no matter what they look like. From zoom quizzes to online gaming sessions, there are plenty of things you can do to make the cold nights go that little bit quicker.
Buy Cozy Clothing
This might sound obvious, but I see so many people walking around wearing incredibly thin jumpers in the cold. it goes without saying the being outside in the cold is more pleasant when you have warmer clothes on. You can get thermal trousers and thermal tops to wear underneath your clothes to keep you warm. Thermals are great for long walks outside. You should also invest in warm hats, scarves, gloves, and strong winter boots to keep the rest of you warm.
Keep A Regular Sleep Schedule
As it’s getting lighter later and darker earlier, it can be tempting to either go to bed earlier or get up later. Don’t do this. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and limit the consumption of screentime from your phone, computer, or TV. Set an alarm for the same time each morning as well. If you’re in a good sleep routine it will be easier for you to get up each day. The other side of this is that if you are well-rested you’re more likely to have better mood levels overall. You’ll also have more energy to get your day-to-day tasks done.
Stay In A Good Routine
Many of us take holidays in the winter months over the Christmas and New Year period. These holidays often lead to us falling out of our everyday routines. With many of us now working from home (possibly on a more permanent basis), it’s important that we not only keep a good routine but keep our self-motivation levels up. It’s natural to sleep in a bit on the weekends and go to bed a bit later, but try to at least eat at the same time. As stated above, try and go to bed at the same time each weeknight to keep our natural body clock on the routine too. Keeping a strong routine will help us get up in the morning with a fair idea of what the day is going to look like, meaning we gain some motivation.
Find Some Nice Comforting Recipes
Comfort food is a must during the cold months, but comfort doesn’t always mean junk. One of the best things about winter is the wonderful comforting foods over Christmas, but why stop there? There are plenty of recipes you can utilize all season long. From vegetable stews to a good bolognese, you can make some great foods that make you feel great without your waistline suffering. I’ll be posting my lentil bolognese recipe up on the blog soon. If you like hot drinks, you should also treat yourself to some nice coffees and hot chocolates to keep you going.
Stock Up On Nice Candles
There is nothing better than cozying up in your home watching something on TV with some candles on after a long day at work. Not only will your home smell amazing, but you’ll also create a cozy atmosphere that is nice and comfortable to be in. This will help you feel happier in your home and forget that it’s the middle of the winter months. I personally recommend the Black Cherry Yankee Candle, it smells amazing and lasts a long time.