The winter blues, if you’ve struggled with this, better known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD for short) you’ll know that it can make winter seem like a long ‘ole slog and if you’re like me, you dream about moving house to somewhere close to the surface of the sun.
SAD absolutely sucks (the clue is in the title), So here are the simple steps I take to keep me on a level ’till spring:
1. Get Outside
This may be the last thing you want to do during a cold dark winter, but the main reason people get SAD in winter is down to lack of natural sunlight. If you work in an office, you’re more prone to it than anyone. Use your lunch break wisely and make a point of going for a 15 walk every day. Set an alarm to remind you.
2. Keep moving
To keep your endorphins at a high, exercise regularly. Something as small as a brisk walk will certainly help. Getting to the gym or doing a good workout will make a massive difference. Exercise will boost your endorphins and help you to feel happier.
3. Practice mindfulness
Studies have shown that mindfulness is one of the most effective ways to maintain a positive state of mind. You can get your hands on a great mindfulness app called Calm. It’s free and helps you to be mindful wherever and whenever you need to be.
4. Practice gratitude
Spend 5 minutes each day either writing down or talking about the things you are grateful for in your life and why. This could be as small as your morning cup of coffee. Reflecting on the things that you are grateful for will shift your mindset and set you up for a positive day ahead.
5. Reach out
It’s easy to stay cocooned inside during winter, but make a special effort to reach out to friends and family and make time to see them. Spending time around loved ones and having a sense of community will help to raise you up when you’re feeling down.
6. Take up a creative hobby
earning something new serves 2 purposes: 1. it will give you a sense of achievement from learning something new, 2. It will keep you occupied and relieve boredom.
7. Help someone else
My go to when I am feeling down is to reach out and help someone else. There’s no greater feeling than making someone else’s day, not only that, but it helps you to see that perhaps your problems aren’t so huge…or special.
If you can only do one of these, just practice a little gratitude each day. It’ll put you in a better frame of mind and set you up to keep pushing forward.