Photo cred - Yumanik
Winter is coming, and it's getting real hard to not think about the long, cold months that lie before us all. I've got chilling winds, hills of snow, and icy roads on my mind and it's getting me blue. If your brain's telling you to get into hermit mode, here's some ways to change its Winter-attitude.
It's easy to get bundled up and forget to take care of our bodies in the Winter till Spring comes around and we start freaking out about fitting into all those skimpy Summer outfits. Don't let that happen this Winter, because guess what, the endorphin rush you'll get from working out will also make sure to stabilize your mood slumps! win win situation. Plus you'll be way ahead of everyone with a Winter-sculpted beach bod before it even gets warm out.
2. Get Some Sun
It's harder to get those crucial hours of sun in the winter because the day's end at four, and you tend to wake up pretty late whenever you have the option. Not seeing the sun for days on end is pretty terrible for your mood in general, but if you're not getting that essential Vitamin D, you're more likely to feel depressed. Besides, your body produces serotonin when it's exposed to sunlight, and we all know the wonderful effects of serotonin on the brain.
3. If It's Gloomy Use Artificial Light
If you just can't get enough sun in your life because you're a nocturnal creature, try investing in a lamp that simulates sunlight. Be warned though, they can be pretty pricey. A cheaper alternative would be going tanning: get a bronze glow and a happy glow all at once.
4. Eat All The Pricey Chocolate
Cocoa beans contains this natural amino acid called Trytophan, which helps create serotonin in the brain, leading to a mood boost. But it's only the pricier chocolate bars that have greater cocoa content, and so, larger amounts of Trytophan. So, get your hands on some fancy candy bars to heighten your spirits because now you have an excuse.
5. Embrace the Season
It's pretty easy to moan about the cold and forget about all the super cool activities that you can only do when it's Winter: skiing, sledding, snowboarding! Also, Igloofest, but there's still a few weeks till that happens. Plan all the activities you want to be doing this Winter to get you pumped!
6. Treat Yourself
Winter sports not your thing? If you can afford it, try to motivate yourself by finding a great deal on Groupon or WagJag Jaunt for a sweet discounted vacation getaway to someplace warm and beachy. If you don't got the funds for that, plan a weekend trip, or a day at the spa that'll give you a break from the cold.
7. Get A Massage
Speaking of spas, massages are actually pretty great for treating depression. During a massage the levels of your stress hormone cortisol (that can rise in people that are depressed) fall, and levels of serotonin rise. It's all about the pressure, so don't let your masseuse go easy on you when they're working out your knots.
8. Drink More Coffee
Not to sound like a coffee evangelist, but there's pretty extensive research linking people who drink more than four cups of coffee a day to a 20% lower risk of depression. Caffeine essentially acts as a mood enhancer in moderate doses, so it's a year-round tonic for mild blues, and especially useful in Winter.
9. Find Your Winter Scent
Your sense of smell is directly connected to your mood, so choosing the right smells to surround you can stop your wintertime sadness and get ride of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Summery citrus smells can lift your mood, while lavender or chamomile can soothe mental stress. Also, spicier scents like ginger and cardamom will re-energize you. Invest in a new perfume or scented candle for your apartment and you'll see your mood alter for the better.
10. Remember To Still Have Fun
It's really easy to become a hermit home-body in the Winter and refuse to be socially active because it's just so warm and cosy and EASY indoors. That feeling of ease won't last long though, because cabin fever is anything but comfortable. Motivate yourself, friend Jack Frost, and you'll have a painless season.