Come January and February the winter blues are upon us, but they don’t have to be. According to Cleveland Clinic having the “winter blues” is actually normal. You’re totally fine to feel a little down during the colder months. They refer to it as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Um, yeah, I know I get it. No matter where we live we’re bound to crave sunlight.
What can we do about it?
Here are the best 13 ways to naturally reduce the ‘winter blues’. I go from the most common to the most unique. My personal favorites are #9 and #13.
1- Get Outside…even if it’s cloudy.
There is power in the outdoors. Stepping outside to get the mail can even help. It helps you feel like you did something today, giving you a change of scene. Get some fresh air. Getting outside may even help you sleep better at night. Here are a few nature quotes to get you motivated.
2- Open up the shades and pull back the curtains.
Increase the amount of sunlight in your home. Open the shades and curtains. This is so incredibly healthy for your mind and well-being. In fact, this is probably one of my biggest pet peeves. It will be a beautiful day outside and I’ll go visit a friend and they will have their blinds or curtains closed. Listen, people, you’re missing out on a lot of good stuff and entertainment from nature.
3- Take Vitamin D
Taking vitamin D3 also reduces upper respiratory infections. There are a lot of benefits to vitamin D. One benefit is it improves mood. Other vitamin D benefits include: bone health, helps the immune system, manages blood sugar levels, fights heart disease, helps regulate hormones, contributes to memory, supports skin health, and more. Dr. Axe has more info here.
Who cares if it’s cloudy and gray outside! Bundle up and get out there. A bit of fresh air does a body and soul good. There have been studies on how exercise can boost mood. Have you heard of a runner’s high? It exists. But what if you don’t run? Lace-up the walking shoes or slip on the biking shorts! Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes, an hour would be fantastic.
5- Set a sleep schedule
When you’re on a sleep schedule, your body will naturally flow with it. It takes a little time, but within a week or two, you should be feeling the positive effects. Stick to all-natural ways to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Things like avoiding electronics an hour or two before bed, dimming the lights, taking a hot bath, setting a routine, reading before bed, exercising in the morning instead of evening, and avoiding caffeine after the lunch hour.
6- Look at what you’re eating.
Change up your diet and eat more Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, flax seeds), berries, dark chocolate, and bananas are beneficial too. Source: Healthline. I’ve got a great recipe for salmon in a skillet, find my recipe here. What you put into your body does affect how you feel. Get clear with cleaner foods and reduce inflammation with foods that calm. If you have digestive issues, but sure to check this post out, it has great information coming from someone who knows!
7- Try Light Therapy
Light therapy also helps, but talk to your doctor first. There are a few lights to look at on Amazon. Here’s one that’s inexpensive to try: Miroco Light Therapy Lamp.
6 More Fun Things to Calm the Winter Blues
8- Add plants to your indoors
Some other fun things we can do to brighten our blue months (January and February) are to bring green plants into your living space. Having plants, even if they’re fake, gives off a fresh feel to the room. Try putting a houseplant or two in your kitchen. If you don’t do well with plants, and what I mean is keeping them alive, head to your favorite hobby store or hop on Amazon and pick up some fake greens. Find other ideas on how to brighten a room here.
9- Light it up inside!
Move your Christmas lights from your tree to other areas of your home. I have a fake tree in my house; year-round I put a string of white lights on it and turn them on in the evening and early morning. The fireplace mantel is also a great spot to have a string of lights. A few lights can go a long way! If you don’t like the typical dark green string, get the white one! You can find them on Amazon.
10- Turn your nose on
Fill your home with lovely smells. Honestly, I don’t know what it is about the smell of banana bread baking, but it brings warm hugs to my soul. Chicken soup does the same thing. Whatever your childhood favorite smell, make that smell happen! This is a low-cost method that goes a long way.
11- Get into nature…with your ears
Play nature sounds. There are a lot of great nature sounds you can download. My personal favorites are the ones with birds, something that mimics my backyard in the warmer months. If the ocean is your favorite spot, tune into the sounds, and close your eyes.
12- Embrace the season
Welcome the stillness of the winter. Every year I find myself craving time alone when it’s snowing outside. Since I live in Michigan we get our share of snow. The snow has this magical way of quieting life down. Enjoy the silence of nature. One of my favorite places to be in winter is sitting in the snowbank at night…especially if it’s snowing!
13- Warm up the bones
Don’t forget to warm up your bones. If there is ever any sunshine, grab a camp chair and camp out in front of the window or door where the sunbeams shine through. I did this just the other day and my soul immediately felt better. No sun? Try your fireplace. No fireplace? Light a candle. No candles? Take a hot bath. No bathtub? A cup of dairy-free hot chocolate or tea works too…with a pair of cozy socks.
Victory over the Winter Blues
Let’s beat the winter blues at its game. Shine light where you can and warm up your soul using all your senses. Be aware of your surroundings and how you can change them. You got this!
Before you go, check out these other great posts:
- Gift Ideas for Hard to Buy People
- Kale Salad Recipe with Squash!
- How to Teach Your Child to Use Their Head
- Gluten-Free No-bake Cookies with Coconut!
- Corn on the Cob Song Fun
By CT Copyright © 2021 Simplify Firefly. All Rights Reserved.