Here we go again. The first snowpocalypse of the season is upon us. Tis the season for snowy days and long, cold, dark nights. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real issue for a lot of folks. Research has found that people with it have lower serotonin levels than the rest of the population. For others, it’s just a matter of not enjoying the colder weather.
Have no fear. There are several ways to go about staying happy during what many people find as a depressing time of year! Here are 10 ways to beat the winter blues:
Get creative. So if you are like me and want nothing more to move to the equator, it helps to have a creative outlet. For some reason, when it’s freezing cold outside, I love to bake. While everyone is stocking up on milk and gas before the storms, I am stocking up on flour and eggs. Sometimes the kids will join me, and other times they prefer to just wait and taste the results!
Make your home a haven. Light the fireplace. Light a great smelling candle, or diffuse essential oils to keep you feeling calm and settled. Making your home a comfortable place will surely help to relieve some of those antsy feelings.
Watch a movie. Cozy up with the family for some escapism with a movie. Luckily, these days there are more movies at our fingertips than ever before, with the touch of a button on the remote control. If you are feeling cooped up and in need of some comic relief, go for the funny. If you are dying for a little more excitement, then take on an action flick.
Play games. Using your brain is particularly helpful when it is too easy to watch mindless television all day long, especially for the kids. A movie is fine, but lounging on the sofa all day long is not. Play a board game with the family, do a puzzle, challenge a friend to a round of Trivia Crack, challenge yourself to soduku or find some other way to utilize those brain cells!
Open up the windows during the day. Too much darkness gets depressing, doesn’t it? So be sure to let that daylight in! Getting some sunlight may also help with those levels of vitamin D, which are lower during the winter months when we generally spend less time outdoors.
Maintain a healthy diet and take your supplements. Lower vitamin D levels also correspond to higher levels of both depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder. So it may be helpful to get all your vitamins during the winter months. We all know that it is just so easy to spend those days stuck in the house binging on baked goods (see above), hot cocoa, and junk food. Yet, we also know that doing so is not going to make us feel any better about ourselves in the long run, so stick to healthy meals and keep those portions of junk food within reason.
Exercise. Just because you are not able to get out to the gym does not mean you can’t exercise! You can move it on your own or make it even more fun as a family activity. Challenge each other. Have a dance party. Do a workout video. Jump rope. Just move! Burning calories and letting off some steam makes it quite a bit easier to be stuck in side most of the day.
Clean out the basement, or a closet, or that junk drawer. Along the same lines as getting exercise, that feeling of getting something accomplished makes it just a little less frustrating to be stuck at home. So go on and tackle one of those projects you have been avoiding. You’ll feel so much better!
Skype! You and your kids may not be able to see many friends in person, but you sure can chat with them face-to-face in “real time” online. Being able to see other people can help to reduce feelings of isolation.
Go out and play! Believe it or not, snow is not just for shoveling. Don’t let your kids be the only ones to enjoy it. Get some fresh (cold, but fresh) air. Build a snowman or create a fort. Make snow angels. Throw snowballs. Go sledding at the nearest hill. Just get out there!
How do you stay busy during those cold winter days when you are stuck at home?