8 Simple Ways to Beat the Winter Blues
The Winter Blues (also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder) affects millions of people worldwide. Actually I read that about half of those living in the Northern part of the States, and most of Canada suffer from it seasonally. It can affect people of any age, even children. If your mood lately is resembling the weather outside (cold, dark, and miserable), then read on for some simple tips to beat those nasty Winter Blues…
Living in Vancouver, we get typically mild winters (especially when compared to the rest of Canada). Although snow is a rarity, the days are short and the sun is barely seen. Many people tend to stay inside due to the enormous amounts of rain, causing a disruption in our circadian rhythm, less sleep, weight gain, and overall sluggishness.
Being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom) who loves the outdoors, our days have been lacking sunshine and adventures lately. In order to not let it get us down, I’ve been implementing the following, so no one falls victim to this seasonal slump.
1. Keep Active
I’m definitely what they call a “Seasonal Runner” as running in the cold and rain just doesn’t excite me. Although I love to jog the rest of the year, I have been staying active this winter in other ways. I like group classes and have been sporadically dropping in at Barre, Yoga, and Boot Camp! We do try to get outside as much as possible for fresh-air and even brave the weather when we just need to get out of the house for a bit! Hudson has been going to swimming lessons which gives us a weekly family activity, as well as Music/Dance for Babies at the Rec Center close by. At home work-out videos are another great option when you want to get some activity in without leaving the house! Of course there is the gym! If you have a membership, this is the time to use it!
2. Eat Healthy
This is a hard one, especially when it’s crappy outside and the weather is disappointing. Who really wants to eat a salad when its -10 outside? You should however remember to include protein, whole grains, and veggies in your daily diet. Although comfort foods are a must during this time of year, try to limit the overly fried or fatty foods that leave you feeling tired, bloated, and sluggish. For breakfast, we love our toast, so we try to make it healthy by adding avocado and a poached egg. We season it with pepper and herbs, limiting the amount of salt. There are so many recipes on Pinterest for healthy comfort-style foods that you can make at home! I just made the yummiest healthy banana bread and the whole place smelled divine while it was baking! Hudson loved it too!
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3. Enjoy a New Hobby
Lately I have been re-decorating our apartment and using favorite photos to make wall collages in our bedroom and living room. This project has kept me busy and given me something to do during my free time (what free time?). I always enjoy cooking and blogging, and this winter I have been part of a new writing project that I’m super excited about. Whether you take up baking, sewing, photography, or read a new book – enjoying doing this activity helps to pass the time and keep your days happy!
4. See Family and Friends
Make plans for weekend brunches, dinners with friends, and movie nights. Not only will you have something to look forward to, but socializing can be good for your mental health and warding off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations to social events. Getting out is important, even if you only go for a little while. I’m sure we’ve all had times that we didn’t feel like going to an event, but we were glad we came once there.
5. Find Little Things that Make you Happy
For me, this is fresh flowers in a vase on the table to brighten up the apartment! Flowers (especially tulips) remind me that Spring is near! Soon the days will be getting longer, the sun will be getting brighter, and the temperature will be warmer. I also love candles and essential oils to uplift the spirits. My aromatherapy diffuser is going almost everyday, and I even have a blend called “Liquid Sunshine”. A hot bath and a nice cup of tea always help at the end of a long dreary day as well!
6. Four Hugs a Day!
This one is important, trust me! Hug everyone you meet (well maybe not everyone) and especially hug your family! Bonus: if you have a baby to hug (or can borrow one for cuddles). Hugging releases endorphins and is said to lower your blood pressure and lowers your cortisol (the stress hormone). When we embrace someone, oxytocin (also known as “the cuddle hormone”) is released, making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I’m sure the same goes for kissing, so embrace away! I still remember that Charlotte Diamond Song from when I was a little girl. It went something like: “Four Hugs a Day, That’s the Minimum… Not the Maximum”…
7. Netflix and Chill
I don’t know about you guys, but in the summer (when the nights are long) I have a hard time watching TV before it gets dark. Winter is the time to catch up and binge watch all those shows people have been talking about. There are literally so many shows that are worth watching and will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more. It’s not quite MY style, but I hear people watching whole seasons in just a couple of days! Here’s a few that we have watched in the past couple of years and a few that I’ve heard are really good! Hudson hasn’t seen any I might add, he just loves to hold the remote control!
Narcos . Breaking Bad . Making A Murderer . Alias Grace . Scandal . Peaky Blinders . Downton Abbey . 13 Reasons Why . Shameless . Stranger Things
8. Plan A Trip
This is exactly what we are doing! You’ll see me sipping margaritas and swimming in the sea soon enough! When it comes to travel, our family just can’t get enough!
Click here for my post: Packing List for a Flight with Baby
Click Here for my post: Simple Tips for Flying with a Baby
If you can manage it and time allows, just plan a holiday to a tropical destination. There are always flight deals to sunny destinations and some aren’t even that far away. If you can’t plan for the near future, why not plan a trip for next winter and spend time researching exactly where you want to go. Follow some Inspirational Travel Instagram Accounts as well. There are so many that will have you swooning! Speaking of Instagram, Are you following Me?
How do you beat the Winter Blues? Comment Below 🙂