The winter season affects us all in different ways. From getting us excited for the first snowfall to making us mourn the warmer days under the sun, it’s common to feel conflicted about these months. However, for some, the drastic shift to spending all day indoors can lead to episodes of reduced mental health. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, can leave us feeling depressed all winter long and prevent us from making the most of our time. Here, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to fight seasonal affective disorder in your daily life.
Keep Yourself on Schedule
With shorter days and longer nights, it becomes much more difficult to keep up with our daily routines. Unfortunately, this leads to feelings of unproductiveness that can wreak havoc on a person’s overall motivation and happiness. So, despite the darkness outside, make sure that you work hard to keep your schedule as consistent as possible. Meet your friends for dinner or continue working out at the same time each day. These patterns will create a sense of normalcy and ensure you feel accomplished when you return home.
Spend Time Outdoors
It can also help to spend some time outdoors, depending on the weather. As the sun beats down on our skin, it provides the body with nutrients that energize us and boost our mood. In fact, this is part of the reason why it’s harder to maintain our mental health when we stay indoors for winter. Going out for a short walk or partaking in a winter activity, like skiing, gives you more access to sunlight and helps give your mind the boost it needs on those rougher days.
Practice One of Your Hobbies
Another noteworthy way to fight seasonal affective disorder is to throw yourself into one of your favorite hobbies. Doing something you love activates the areas of the brain that produce dopamine, the happiness hormone. Because of this, even devoting a few minutes to one of these hobbies can boost your mood. You can even try something new with the extra time you have indoors this winter. You may discover a passion you didn’t know you had.
Treat Yourself to a Warming Drink
Taking a moment to treat yourself to your favorite snacks and beverages can have a lasting impact on your mental health as well. Warming beverages, like lattes, are especially effective at creating heat in the body and helping us embrace the cozy atmosphere of our homes. Best of all, you can use a Keurig to make your own lattes at home. So you don’t even need to worry about braving the elements to get your caffeine fix.
Finding effective methods for boosting your mood in the wintertime is essential to living a fulfilled life—regardless of the time of year. So, whether you’re in a chronic slump or having an off day, consider incorporating these practices into your routine. You never know which one will make a difference.