The winter months can tend to be cold and dark, which can make it difficult to keep a positive spirit. Even further—every year more than 12 million American adults suffer from Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder (SAD). This type of disorder typically occurs during the winter months when there is less sunlight and can consist of fatigue, depression and other symptoms. Whether you’re suffering from SAD or simply feeling down with the winter blues, there are ways you can boost your mood during the colder months. Check out these ideas below to warm your heart and soul.
Soak Up the Sun
Part of SAD can relate to a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is found in sunlight, meaning you could use some more rays of sunshine. Unfortunately, this may not always be possible to find when the temps are freezing, and you’re cooped up inside all day. Luckily, there are other ways to boost your vitamin D levels. Some foods are high in vitamin D, like fish, seafood, cheese and egg yolks.
If you’re really looking to boost your vitamin D levels and want to get the same feeling you get from sunlight, invest in a heat lamp to stay warm and toasty during the winter months. Basically, if you can’t get the sunlight organically, make the sunlight come to you!
Do Something Good for Someone Else
Doing good for others can also be a great mood booster for you AND the person you’re helping. Not only are you doing something nice for others, but you’ll also feel great knowing that you’re making a difference in your community and the world. Volunteer or get out in your community to lend a helping hand.
Move It, Move It!
Exercise is one of the best ways to release those good feelings, also known as endorphins! While it may be difficult to get moving at first, it always feels good once you’re done. The first step is getting dressed for a workout. Maybe you only have 10 minutes for today, but 10 minutes of a workout is better than no workout!
Get Outdoors When Possible
The weather may not always make outdoor life possible during the winter but sometimes it is! Make a snowman. Start a snowball fight. Get bundled up and go for a walk. Going outside for fun can help you get sunlight and also physical activity. It’s a win-win!
Switch Up Your Routine
See friends, if possible. Head out of town for a change of scenery. Work from a different location for the day. There are tons of ways you can change up your routine, and sometimes it’s the kick you need for a boost of serotonin. If you’re looking to brainstorm more ideas, call up a friend and look to tackle the task together.
Have no fear, because spring is around the corner, and warmer months are ahead. In the meantime, take as many steps as you can to boost your mood and help others along the way.
*This article is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a doctor for specific plans related to your mental health.