Finding Joy During the Winter Months
The shift from summer, to autumn, to winter can be a jarring one for many of us. We go from sunglasses and sandals to sweaters and scarves, all within the span of what feels like a few weeks. This drop in temperature and loss of daylight hours can leave even the most optimistic of us a little down. So to help combat the winter blues, we’ve gathered a list of tips that we hope will let you find a little bit of joy in winter.
As the cold weather settles in and the snow begins piling up at our front door, it can be extremely tempting to stay inside and conserve your energy hibernating in bed. While this is no doubt a tempting idea, getting a daily dose of exercise is a vital component to fighting off the winter blues. Why is this?
- Exercise promotes the release of dopamine within the brain, a chemical that plays a large role in the feeling of happiness.
- Taking time to exercise each day allows you to time to reflect. This personal reflection time can be essential for gaining perspective on stressful issues within life.
Still not feeling like making the trip to the gym or going for a run in the cold? No worries! Our previous blog post provides a plethora of online exercise options for you to try out in the comfort of your own home.
Brighten Your Day
If you’re living in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter months, you can expect to be treated to drastically fewer hours of sunlight in comparison to the summer. While this is especially true the further north you go, around 4 to 6% of citizens suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is brought about by this lack of sunlight. While some experience the symptoms of SAD worse than others, here are a few ideas to help.
- Consider investing in a HappyLight, which produces a natural light (akin to sunlight) that promotes a natural production of Vitamin D in our system.
- Another option is to take Vitamin D supplements, to ensure you meet your body’s quota.
- Light up some scented candles for an extra cozy and magical touch to your home or buy a multicoloured LED light string to hang on a cupboard or in the corner of a mirror.
Focus on the Positives
There’s a lot going on in the winter that can dampen your mood. From the cold wind howling outside, snow and ice making your commute to work a nightmare, and a rare few hours of sunlight each day; it can be tough. Yet there is so much to look forward to in the winter, so instead of thinking about what’s getting you down, take the time to count your blessings. Here a few that we enjoy.
- Plan a family gathering or a get-together with friends to help take your mind off of the weather. The added distraction of planning an event can make you forget all about the cold outside.
- This event doesn’t have to be complicated; playing board games, starting a DIY project or baking a pie together can be really fun!
- Focus some of your energy on your loved ones, and being supportive of one another; odds are they might have a case of the winter blues as well.
Being kind to yourself should be a priority throughout the winter months, as study after study has proven that people who take the time to foster self-compassion have a more optimistic outlook. While there is a whole host of ways to treat yourself to a little TLC, we’ve compiled our favorites.
- If you’ve got a little chunk of cash saved up, why not consider going on a trip to somewhere a little more tropical?
- Take a drive to a local spa or create one at home! Using some Epson salts and essentials oils in your bath can instantly transform the atmosphere.
- Have a little purchase you’ve been holding off on for who knows how long? Splurging feels good, if only in the short-term.
Try a New Hobby or Activity
Taking the time to learn a new skill is an incredible way to not only distract yourself from the winter weather but get that amazing feeling of accomplishment that comes from learning something new. Looking for some ideas to kickstart your next interest?
- Feeling artistic? Consider giving knitting or pottery a try! The feeling of creating something with your hands is incredible and sure to boost your mood. Plus, your creations can make for great presents!
- If you’re interested in giving back to the community, volunteering at a local soup kitchen is a great place to start. Giving back to those in need warms the heart, and is especially important during the winter.
So what do we like to do? Well besides what we’ve suggested above, pouring a nice cup of our Stress Less or Smart Tea’s always helps to boost our mood throughout the winter. Partaking in a wellness journey throughout the winter months can be a great goal to set for yourself, so if you’re looking for a little extra information, be sure to browse our wellness wisdom articles, and follow us on Instagram!