How Does The Winter Solstice Affect Us? 7 Things That Could Happen To Your Body

Ad failed to load

On Thursday, Dec. 21, just as Mercury (finally) begins to come out of retrograde, the winter solstice will begin. Honestly, Mother Nature, how much change do you think our bodies can handle?! Like, take it easy, fam. If you're wondering how the winter solstice affects us, you're probably not alone, and you have a right to be a little concerned about it. After all, you've already been through hell and back with the all the retrograde mayhem, and now you have another astronomical event to prepare yourself for. Deep breaths, people.

For starters, if you're not sure what the winter solstice even is, it simply marks the shortest day and longest night of the year in the Northern hemisphere — aka the official first day of the winter season, at least on this side of the planet. The tilt of the Earth causes the change in seasons, and during the winter solstice in particular, the Earth's Northern hemisphere is farthest away from the sun.

Keep in mind, even though the winter solstice is said to mark the "shortest day of the year," Dec. 21 will still technically be 24 hours long. But it'll feel short AF, because the sun will set really, really early. So yeah, prepare yourself to feel like you're ready for bed at like, 3 p.m. that day.

Ad failed to load

So, what does all of this tilting of the Earth and the change in seasons have to do with your body? Believe it or not, the winter solstice may affect a lot of things in your life, including your mood, your sleep schedule, and maybe even your sex drive.

My friends, winter is, indeed, coming, so here are seven ways the upcoming solstice may affect you and your body.

Ad failed to load

1You Might Feel Kind Of "Blah"


Everyone's heard of the winter blues, but there's a real science behind why this time of year has you feeling bummed out a lot of the time.

According to The Guardian, your brain's serotonin levels (the "feel-good" neurotransmitter that your body produces) are largely affected by the amount of exposure you get to daylight. So when the days start getting significantly shorter, and there's a limited amount of sunshine, your serotonin levels can drop, causing you to feel a little moody and melancholy.

Some people struggle so much with the arrival of the winter solstice that they can be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, which is a psychological condition and sub-type of clinical depression.

Adding self-care practices into your routine — such as deep breathing, meditation, leisurely walks, and yoga — can help boost your serotonin levels, and as a result, your mood and overall well-being.

2Your Sleeping Patterns Might Be Strange


When you're not getting enough vitamin D — as a result of not being exposed to enough sunlight — your body can feel super exhausted and lethargic.

The change in seasons that brings us into the winter solstice can affect your body's circadian rhythm, which regulates your normal sleep cycles, as well as your ability to produce melatonin, aka your body's sleep hormone. To put it simply, the lack of sunlight could definitely take a toll on your snooze time.

But rest assured, the dark circles under your eyes don't need to be your default winter aesthetic. Taking a vitamin D supplement or investing in an electronic light box are great ways to remind your body that there is, indeed, a light at the end of this dark tunnel we call the winter solstice.

3Your Hormones Could Get Wacky


So, apparently, sunlight can play a much bigger role in your bodily functions than you may have initially thought. No wonder why people down in Australia are so freaking chill and laid-back, amirite?

According to The New York Times, the drop in serotonin and melatonin that happens when there's less daylight outside can actually have a negative effect on your fertility. Now, that effect isn't significant enough for you to freak out about it, but it's definitely worth making a note of.

Ad failed to load

4You Might Start Suffering From Bad Headaches


Have you ever felt like it's so cold outside that the low temperatures are literally give you a raging headache? Same. Curse you, winter solstice.

Though the research isn't definitive, Medical Daily reports that the number of migraine cases seems to notably increase during the winter months, starting on Dec. 21. The swift change in temperature can lead to change sin the body that result in tension headaches — aka the ones where it feels like there's a really tight band wrapped around your head.

Try taking a warm, peaceful bubble bath, or investing in calming essential oils to soothe a relentless headache.

5Your Heart May Be Working Overtime


According to a 2010 study, the cold weather that comes with the beginning of the winter solstice may increase your risk for heart complications. Yikes, I've never liked winter as a season, but this is a whole other level of bleak.

Keep in mind, this research is particularly relevant for elderly people and/or anyone who already has a preexisting heart condition. Bottom line: If you're young, relatively healthy, and you normally eat a balanced diet and keep your body moving, you probably don't have anything to worry about.

6Your Libido Might Drop


As if your body isn't already going through enough during the end of December, apparently your sex drive could take a toll, as well. Honestly, this is why we can't have nice things.

According to Medical Daily, your body’s production of testosterone plummets during the winter, which is why you might just not be in the mood to get intimate with your partner.

Be sure to communicate with your partner about how you're feeling, and maybe even find new ways to spice up your sex life, to beat the solstice at its own game.

Ad failed to load

7But On The Bright Side, You May Feel More Creative


Finally, a light at the end of the damn tunnel. The winter solstice isn't all bad, guys! It might have you suddenly feelin' like Vincent van Gogh (minus the whole cutting off your ear thing, hopefully), and you may just be inspired to tap into your creative side.

While this isn't a concrete finding, it's basically all about perception: A 2014 study showed that, when the chilly temps of winter force us to go inside and bundle up with a warm mug of tea and cozy blankets, we're more likely to feel connected with others, and as a result, inspired to create and to brainstorm new ideas.

So crank up that thermostat, girl. You might just find yourself creating the next version of Starry Night.

Ad failed to load

Must Reads

Your Weekly Horoscope Is Here & Your World Is About To Be Filled With Sunshine

If you've had enough of the sleepy and heavy feeling associated with Taurus season, prepare yourself for a replenishing rush of fresh energy. As of May 20, the sun has officially moved into Gemini, and the weight on your shoulders will finally start …
By Roya Backlund

13 Must-Have Experiences You Should Buy In Your 20s, Instead Of A New Couch

Life is one big experience. When you hit your 20s, though, you start getting pulled in the direction of your responsibilities. It isn't totally a bad thing, but you don't want to get so wrapped into adulting that you forget life's zest. Amazing exper…
By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

I Tried Kim Kardashian's Weird Beauty Obsession & I Can't Stop Taking Selfies

You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but …
By Stephanie Montes

Where You Should Vacation This Summer, According To Your Zodiac Sign

Summer is so much more than just sweating in 90 degree weather and enjoying a long, lazy break from school (if you're lucky enough to still be in school). It's a time for making exciting new plans, falling madly and hopelessly in love, opening your m…
By Roya Backlund

Wander or Bust: The Amalfi Coast May Just Be The Most Beautiful Thing You'll Ever See

Wander or Bust is an Elite Daily travel series that follows young women all over the globe to record their journeys as they experience the thrill of the far-flung and unknown. They'll track their budgets, where they stay, where they eat and drink, a…
By Kaylin Pound

6 Brutally Honest Phases Of Life After A Breakup, Because You Will Survive 

If you've ever been through a bad breakup, you know that the struggle is real. For the weeks (or possibly months, if it was a really bad one) that follow, life can be rough, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Don't believe me? Just l…
By Rachel Shatto

Here's How You Can Find Out What Your Aura Color Is

Do you remember that movie Almost Famous? More specifically, the scene where William is trying to have a phone call with his mom, but a clairvoyant Band-Aid keeps shouting "Your aura is purple!" in his face? Well, that was the first time I had ever h…
By Roya Backlund

9 Women In Their 20s Reflect On The Advice They Wish They Had At Graduation

Graduating college can feel seriously scary. You've spent your entire life in school, working and preparing for the moment you enter the real world, but what happens when you get there? What if things don't go totally according to plan? You may have …
By Brittney Morgan

3 Early Signs You Are Going To Have Undeniable Chemistry With Your Crush

I don't know if there's anything better than the excitement of having a new crush — especially when that feeling's reciprocated. The butterflies that rush through your stomach as soon as they enter a room. The electricity that zips through your veins…
By Genevieve Wheeler

A Dentist Reveals The Best Times To Brush Your Teeth & It's Actually So Surprising

Do you brush your teeth twice a day? If you do, you're already way ahead of me, since I usually forget about brushing my teeth before bed at least three out of seven days of the week. I'm so bad about remembering to brush my teeth before bed, that I'…
By Caroline Burke

Emoji Pool Floats Are Here To Match Every Mood You’re In This Summer

Searching for the perfect poolside accessory to lounge around in this summer? This year’s hottest warm weather water trend isn’t a big floppy hat or designer sunglasses — it’s an emoji pool float. That’s right: Your favorite little digital expression…
By Rachel Murphy

Here's How Your Mood & Your Favorite Music Are Secretly Connected, According To Science

If you're someone who's likely to be found with ear buds in her ears at all times, you might not realize just how often you listen to music, or the ways in which it's really affecting you. From your morning commute to the tunes you blast while you co…
By Caroline Burke

This Is How Long It Takes For A Partner To Really Trust You, According To Experts

Trust is easily one of the most important parts of a healthy relationship, but typically, it's not something that's fully there from the start because it takes some time to build. How long it takes for a partner to trust you is a question that doesn'…
By Tayi Sanusi

7 Things You Forgot To Thank Your High School Friends For & Should ASAP

Friends are a dime a dozen, but a solid, genuine group of girlfriends can be difficult to come by. When you find your tribe, you need to stick with them until the end. For some lucky people, your high school friends have been your besties since day o…
By Rachel Chapman

These 3 Zodiac Signs Will Have The Best Week, So Bask In The Glory

It's officially the second week of May, and the warmth of spring has finally arrived. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and the bright weather is allowing everyone to finally break out their favorite pair of shorts. If you think the gorgeou…
By Roya Backlund

7 Men Reveal What Attracted Them To Their Last Crush & They'll Make You Swoon

He reminded me of Nate Archibald from Gossip Girl. That's legitimately what I found appealing about my most recent crush. Sorry, but it doesn't get any deeper than that. In other instances though, when I'm not trying to live out my lustful, adolescen…
By Sydnee Lyons

A Relationship Expert Reveals His Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide

"Long-distance relationships are extremely relaxing and easy to navigate," said no one in a long-distance relationship ever. Whether you are bicoastal babes or a quick two-hour train ride apart, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also makes…
By Kimmy Foskett

How To Start Reading Tarot When You Have No Clue Where To Begin

I've been practicing tarot almost daily as part of my self-care routine for years. My favorite part of the day is putting on a face mask, pouring myself a blushing mimosa or some coffee, busting out a few crystals, and sitting down to spend a little …
By Minerva Siegel

7 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer About Your Life By The Time You Hit 30

Nobody has all of the answers in life, but you're probably pretty proud of yourself for how far you've come. Somewhere along the way, some of us got the hang of adulting and began to appreciate the unexpected things that come with being 20-something.…
By Marisa Casciano