Have you noticed you feel more tired in the winter? Do you sometimes find yourself feeling sad, down or even a little depressed? You might be suffering from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD—more commonly called the “winter blues.”
For most people who experience SAD, natural remedies and proactive behavior changes are enough to improve their mood and get through the winter.
Here are four tips for how to beat the winter blues naturally.
It might be colder, but you can still bundle up and enjoy the outdoors. The natural light can do wonders for your mood and your body will thank you for the extra activity. Try taking a brisk walk to enjoy some fresh air and get your blood pumping.
Interacting with family and friends can be a big mood booster. Take the initiative to plan social events and attend activities that get you out of the house. The winter can feel like an isolating time, so making the extra effort to spend time with people you love can help fight off your feelings of loneliness.
What you eat can have a big effect on how you feel—both mentally and physically. Stock up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon or walnuts, which studies suggest can positively influence your mood. Limit your sugar intake to avoid the downfall of a sugar crash and seek out foods high in Vitamin D—it’s dubbed the “sunshine vitamin” for a reason!
If you’re really craving sunshine, you can invest in a light box that simulates the sun’s natural rays. Though they tend to come with a hefty price tag, many people report positive results and noticeable improvement in mood. Check with your doctor for a recommendation and see if your health insurance covers the purchase.
If you take steps to improve your winter blues and still find yourself struggling, talk to your doctor about other treatments. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
Don’t discount the importance of a good night’s sleep when taking care of your mental health. Download our free Guide to a Better Night’s Sleep here.