Living in the midwest, it gets pretty grey from about November to March. And while we do get a fair sprinkle of sunny days, this (at times neverending!) season weighs heavily on most of us. It can be hard to keep yourself from falling into a funk, especially post-holiday season, so I’ve put together a handful of easy tips that can help boost your mood all winter long and even have you enjoy this season too!
It’s sooo tempting to veg out until springtime, but get your booty moving! There are loads of exercise and yoga videos for free on YouTube that are perfect for all, many as short as ten minutes! (I really love and recommend Yoga with Adriene and Lesley Fightmaster Yoga.) Keep it as simple as you need, but do try to pencil it in a few times a week (even if that means just dancing to your favorite songs while you get ready!). Any which way, your body and mind will thank you!
Light Up Alarm Clock
My husband got me this light up alarm clock last Christmas and it has been a game changer, especially in dark winter months! It’s an investment but has helped me immensely. It starts to gradually light up for 30 minutes leading up to your alarm until it gets to the brightness setting you choose. The alarm sounds are a variety of nature sounds, and the sound itself is also gradual, making it so peaceful to wake up to! There’s also a sunset feature to ease into sleep.
Check Vitamin Levels
It’s very common in the winter time for people in northern climates to have vitamin deficiencies, such as vitamin D. Low levels can affect mood and energy. Make sure to check with your doctor first – it’s never wise to start taking vitamins arbitrarily!
Make sure to load up on natural forms of vitamins, too! Get vitamin C through citrusy fruits like oranges and don’t forget your greens – my favorite way is to add extra helpings into soup! Among many benefits, the smell of citrus can serve as a mood booster and greens like broccoli and kale support a healthy brain and immune system.
Even if you aren’t an outdoorsy person, especially when it’s super cold!, getting fresh air is really important. It could be as simple as a few deep breaths before getting into your car or heck, even stick your head out your kitchen window for a moment! If you’re up for more than that, take a quick stroll down the road or play in the snow with your kids or dogs.
(Mindfully!) Add to Your Calendar
Make plans with your buddies! Having something special on the calendar will give you something fun to look forward to, and getting out of the house will be good for you, too. I find that even putting my favorite shows on the calendar (like This is Us & The Good Place!) lift my spirits and get me excited!
Invite in Color
My house is grey and white because I love how fresh and timeless it is. A lot of my wardrobe is the same, with a pretty neutral color scheme for easily versatile pieces. That said, I’ve been gravitating to more colorful pieces for my home and closet these dreary days, and I’ve found that to be a mood booster! Even a couple additions – like colorful loungewear, blankets, or using fun markers and pens with your planner/calendar/bullet journal can really brighten your day!
Just as it’s important to make time with your people, it’s also a really important time for self-care. Just like trees, flowers, and animals take time to hibernate, don’t underestimate what that can do for you. While we definitely don’t want to close others out for the next few months, listen to your mind and body’s need for more rest and quiet. Enjoy some intentional alone time with a hot drink, good book, and a furry friend or two.
If you’re feeling these winter days especially hard, talk with your doctor, who can discuss your possibility of having SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and ways to help. Remember you aren’t alone and just like this season will pass, so will your struggle with it.
Check out more articles on mental health and soul soothing mindfulness to keep you going all year long:
Take great care, friend!