Happiness is hard to come by these days, especially in the winter.
With hibernation season around the corner, we are all beginning to stress about those 10 extra pounds we might layer on (pun intended). Or, we're stressing about getting so pale we will most likely be able to see the blood pumping through our bright purple veins.
Let’s just face it: Winter sucks. We would all rather be laying out on the beach, soaking up the sun and sipping down piña coladas. Over the years, I have had my fair share of depressing winters, but I have come up with a few tips that can brighten up my dark, blistery, snowy days.
Here are some ways to fight the winter blues:
There is nothing more luxurious in the winter than getting into your warm bed and snuggling up with seven blankets and five pillows, as you defrost your toes that feel like they may fall off.
Sleeping in the winter has never been an issue for me since it is always bitter and dark outside. But still, catching up on your beauty rest is the best way to conserve energy, recharge your body battery, avoid illness and cope with the cold. (And, avoid indulging in those 500 extra calories you probably would intake if you were awake.)
This winter, feel free to hit the snooze button a few times and continue your mini-hibernation, but don’t overdo it. Seven to eight hours a night, not 12, is the goal.
GO TO THE GYM. I often find myself weighing the pros and cons of going to the gym during the winter:
It’s cold… but I need to look good in my outfit. I’m tired… but I’ll feel great afterward. Ugh, I will probably slip 50+ times on the walk to the gym. I’ll just eat healthy and not drink.
The list goes on but, don’t do it to yourself. Just get up and go.
Not only has it been scientifically proven, but also from personal experience, I can tell you all that going to the gym actually does boost your mood. There is no better feeling than that after an awesome workout, even if it is below freezing outside.
This is one of my biggest weaknesses in the winter. Between the pumpkin-flavored items offered throughout the fall and winter and the free time that eats away at us, I always gain the most weight this time of year.
It is important to steer clear of sugar and sweets in the winter so our bodies don’t grow addicted and dependent on it.
That being said, it is important to indulge in something delicious every once in a while. Take your senses on a roller coaster ride through the different smells and tastes of the season. Just indulge intelligently.
Worship the Sun
After two weeks of bundling up, applying copious amounts of body lotion and crying unintentional tears every time you step outside, you may find yourself daydreaming about the warmer, better summer days. Winter is known for its short, dark days, so when the sun decides to peer through the clouds, go outside and soak it up.
Vitamin-D helps boost your limbic system, which is the emotional center of the brain. You may look like the biggest moron standing outside with your eyes closed and your head looking towards the sky, but a beautiful, sunny, winter day serves as great rejuvenation.
Side note: I don’t know much about light therapy, but it has been really helpful for people who suffer from the winter blues. Look into this if it is something you may be interested in trying.
Hang out with friends, go shopping, pamper yourself – whatever you enjoy doing, do it. The worst way to deal with the winter blues is to sit inside and do nothing but watch TV and think about how much your day sucks.
Start a new project, challenge yourself or go on a trip… whatever floats your boat.
Try Some Coffee
Coffee is known to be a mood-lifter, believe it or not. Studies have show that people who drink a few cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent lower risk of depression.
Not only will coffee sooth our throats and keep us warm, but it will also boost our moods and keep us awake throughout the day. Win-win.
As the temperature continues to drop and snow starts to fall, remember to find your happy place, even though you are already “totally over winter.” Don’t let the frigid days and chapped lips bring you down. Beat the blues.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It