With temperatures in the teens, snow storms several times a week and piles of dirty brown snow everywhere, it is an understatement to say we are all sick of winter. We are cold and some days bundling up to leave the house just seems like too much work. So in addition to being cold, we are bored. This makes it very easy for us to get the winter blues. Here are some tips to survive winter with your sanity intact during the last few weeks of the deep freeze.
Work Out Regularly: Once the temperatures drops, a normal reaction is to cuddle up on the couch. Complying with those desires can have the opposite effect on your health. Exercising releases endorphins into your brain, releasing stress and improving your mood. So keeping up with your exercise routine will keep your mind and body, happy and healthy.
Eat Well: What you eat not only affects your energy, but also your mood. Eating less sugar will actually give you more energy. Eating refined and processed foods will not only make you gain weight, but they can also cause mood swings and a lack of concentration. Healthy eating also strengthens your immune system. This makes you less likely to catch that terrible cold going around.
Sunlight & Fresh Air: People who remain solely indoors in the winter can get depressed due to the lack of sunlight. When in contact with the sun, the brain releases “happy” neurotransmitters. That is why, despite the cold it is important to get outside. Being outdoors even for a few minutes can leave you feeling refreshed. The sunlight also provides Vitamin D, which is also an important nutrient in your body. If getting outdoors is just not a possibility, try investing in special “full spectrum” light bulbs. These bulbs actually have many of the same positive effects as sunlight.
Avoid Binge Drinking: Although staying in with a glass of wine or beer may seem like the obvious way to spend a cold evening, don’t overdo it. Alcohol is a depressant, so overuse will actually affect your mood negatively. Binge drinking (having more than 5 drinks in one sitting) will actually make you more depressed. It will also disrupt your sleep, leaving you tired and cranky the next day.
Organize: Perhaps you have been putting off organizing your home office or closet. You are stuck inside anyway, why not attack that disaster? Cleaning and organizing your life will definitely make you feel better. Not only will you enjoy the satisfaction of completing a task you have been putting off, but being organized will make your life easier on a daily basis.
Plan Ahead: Planning a trip or an event can have positive effects on your mental health. It gives you something to look forward to and strive towards. If a trip is not possible for you this year, look forward to the warmer weather. Simply reminding yourself that spring is coming can make you feel better.
So bundle up and stomp on. Winter is almost over!
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