Tips to Combat the Winter Blues

It’s the new year, we are just over a month into the season of winter and I am already feeling it. “It” being the onset of seasonal depression, AKA “seasonal affective disorder” or “the winter blues.” You may be unfamiliar with this term, but I’m sure you’re familiar with the feeling. Y‘know those winter days when you wake up feeling extra tired and maybe you’ve even slept in late, missing one of those 9:30 a.m. tutorials you signed up for thinking it was a good idea (guilty!). You feel like you’re in a sad mood 24/7 for no discernible reason, losing interest in activities you usually enjoy and just getting too much of that bread (and other starches and sweets). The winter blues come as a result of the gloomy winter weather. The sun isn’t out as much and neither are we! It becomes easy to slip into a slump, not go outside, ignore any attempts at healthy eating and just be plain emo all the time. As someone who gets hit hard by the winter blues, I’ve rounded up some of my go-to tips for getting myself out of said slump. Because the truth is, we are busy ladies who lead busy lives and there’s no time to let a bit of snow get us down!

1. Get Your Nutrients

When winter comes, the sun goes away, so it becomes extra important to get that D. VITAMIN D that is! By taking some extra vitamins during the cold months, you can supplement nutrients your body would normally get from the sun and you’ll find yourself not feeling as sluggish. I’ve started taking all my vitamins at night to help me feel more refreshed and ready to go the next morning. In addition to taking vitamin D, I take oregano to help combat any runny noses. You can find more info on the importance of vitamins and dosages here.

If the idea of taking pills isn’t your thing, you can still get plenty of nutrients to help beat the cold from your food. Oranges are great sources of vitamin C and greens such as spinach and kale are great sources of iron. Some foods are even fortified with vitamin D, like soy milk. Also, try starting your morning with some lemon water to replace that extra cup of coffee that you probably shouldn’t be having anyway.

I will say that if chronic fatigue is something you struggle with beyond the season of winter, it may be in your best interest to speak to a doctor about other ways you can help yourself feel your best.

2. Schedule a Girl’s Night

The winter blues can leave you feeling like you can’t enjoy anything anymore. The best remedy for this loss of interest in regular activities is a night out (or in!) with your best friends. Indulge in your favourite hobbies together, binge watch that new show on Netflix with the beautiful Penn Badgley and eat copious amounts of dark chocolate (apparently it helps reduce anxiety and honestly, it just tastes great). A night out on Richmond Row could also be what you need to get you out of a slump. A change of atmosphere is conducive with a change in mood and there’s nothing like a long wait in line outside Ceeps in the freezing cold to really wake you up.

3. Aromatherapy

Grab those essential oils and invest in a nice diffuser for your room. I highly recommend one of those USB portable diffusers that plug into your laptop. It may seem ridiculous, but when you are on hour three of camping out in Weldon, there’s nothing greater than the sweet smell of mint and eucalyptus to keep you going. It will help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, allowing you to finally relax.

4. Exercise

I know. I KNOW. The last thing anyone wants to do when they don’t feel like themselves is trek to the gym in the snow and work out. But honestly, a few sit-ups and downward dogs on the floor of your room is enough. Just that little bit to get your heart pumping and endorphins moving will help boost your mood. If you’re like me and get completely lost at the gym and overwhelmed by all the equipment, then taking a work-out class might be more your speed. There’s great music, all the moves are explained and demonstrated clearly and you have the freedom to choose how “hardcore” of a class you take. Another way to get moving and out of the house is just a simple walk around your neighbourhood. Or you could even grab a friend to make a snowman or do a mini photo shoot in the snow to post on your Instagram story.

I hope these tips help in your endeavour to combat the winter blues!

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