Cheer up! 5 ways to beat the winter blues

by Parisima Baha

The cold, dark winter months can be hard on a lot of people. If you’ve caught a case of the winter blues, then here are five ways to help beat it. [Image credit: iStock.com/VisualCommunications]

Cheer up! 5 ways to beat the winter blues

1. Warm up

When you’re cold, all you may want to do is curl up in bed. Not to mention, getting out of bed when your home is freezing can be a challenge. Make sure to set your heater to at least 20°C during the day and 17°C at night. It may also be wise to invest in an in-the-floor heating system for your bathroom, or other parts of your home, to make mornings even easier.

There are also other enjoyable ways to heat up during the winter months. For one, invest in warm winter gear so you’re prepped for outdoors. Unwind after work with a hot bubble bath, or sit by the fireplace with a blanket and a nice hot cocoa. Or, better yet, plan a sunny vacation.

2. Get physical

If you feel like you have no energy to exercise, it may actually be because you’re not exercising. Keeping active during the winter is just as important as any other time of the year because it helps boost those feel-good endorphins that make you feel happier and full of energy. It can also help boost your immune system so you’re less susceptible to catching a cold. The flu or common cold can actually cause depression, too, so anything to prevent it is worth doing.

Getting involved in winter activities can also help keep you active and boost your spirits, making winter more bearable! Head to an outdoor skating rink, plan a ski trip, or tap into your inner child and have a snowball fight or build a snowman.

3. Socialize

It may be less convenient to socialize during winter months, but isolating yourself from people can add to your winter blues. Instead, make time to meet with friends and discover new restaurants you haven’t tried before. Rather than sitting in the corner, browsing the Internet or watching TV, put on some music and bake some treats with your family. Get even more into the holiday spirit by giving back. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or children’s hospital. If there’s a class you’re interested in or a hobby you’ve always wanted to take on, like cake decorating or dance, then do it!

4. Surround yourself with colour

Colour has the power to affect your mood. Likewise, the colours you use to decorate your home can affect your mood. The holidays make it so easy to cheer up your home with joyful colours. In fact, green and yellow can make you feel more upbeat and happy, while red is a stimulating colour that gives you energy. So put up that Christmas tree early and keep those festive lights and holiday decor all winter.

People also tend to wear less colour during winter, since neutrals tend to be more on trend. If a green coat is too much for you, then colourize with accessories like your hat, gloves and scarves. While you’re indoors, have some fun with your loungewear and pajamas. Go for holiday patterns or colours and add in a cozy pair of over-the-knee socks or slippers.

5. Get some light

In the words of Kanye, “Turn up the lights in here, baby.” During the winter, there’s less daylight, so you may benefit from a light therapy box, which mimics sunlight. You should also take advantage of natural sunlight. Make sure to head out during your lunch hours or take a break and go for a short walk outside.

If your winter blues continue to persist, then it may be best to see a healthcare professional. You may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which you should not ignore.

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