Like, really cold.
And it gets dark super early.
And honestly, all you want to do is bundle up in a blanket, eat all the carbs and watch Netflix all day.
We hear you. The struggle is real when it comes to the winter blues, and, more importantly, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a more intense psychological condition that occurs most often during the winter solstice when the Earth tilts away from the sun. Lack of serotonin levels, a chemical in the brain that affects mood, can be a major contributor to the winter blues and SAD. Because serotonin is produced by sunlight, it’s no surprise this chemical decreases in the winter.
Keeping your mood in check and staying motivated is so important in warding off feelings of low energy and depression during the winter months. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you feel your best:
You are what you eat, so eat well.
Yes, of course, cookie dough would taste SO AMAZING while you’re watching that House of Cards marathon. But it’s not going to help you feel better. If you’re snowed in, definitely allow yourself a treat or two but make sure you’re counteracting those carbs with some healthy foods. Nuts like walnuts and almonds help reduce inflammation and improve brain function, and fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C will give your immune system a boost. When you do treat yourself, consider a cup of comfort like hot chocolate using milk and natural cocoa powder.
Move your body.
This one’s tough in the winter, especially when transportation is limited because of the weather. But do your absolute best to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week — even if you’re having to run up and down steps in the house. There are plenty of YouTube videos that can coach you through a living room workout. Physical activity is a depression killer and a health booster. There is no downside. If you’re having trouble talking yourself into it, just think about how great you’ll feel when it’s over. We promise it’s worth the effort.
Oh yeah, we went there. We just told you to clean (insert evil laugh here). We know, it’s no Netflix, but cleaning can be a great way to feel refreshed, focused and productive. Even if you just tackle one room, you have given yourself a great excuse for blasting some of your favorite music, and, get this — cleaning can also be a great source of physical activity. (See above.)
Let the light shine in.
Even if the sun isn’t actually shining, open those blinds and let the outdoors fill your space, whether at work or at home. Whatever sunlight you can get will boost your mood, as it builds that all important serotonin in your brain and makes you feel happy and refreshed.
A comfy T-shirt with your favorite mantra is guaranteed to give you all the happy vibes when it’s cold and dreary out there. Check out our line of long-sleeve inspirational tees made from the softest fabric just for you.