There are so many reasons you might be feeling the winter blues such as lack of sunshine, feeling stuck inside, or feeling isolated. There are many things you can do to combat this!
First, you want to know if you have “winter blues” or actual Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you want to know what the signs and treatment are for Seasonal Affective Disorder, please see the Mayo Clinic’s website or see your primary care physician.
The last thing you want to do is go outside and exercise – so don’t! There are many at-home options or gyms you can join to get moving indoors. Pre-pandemic I was a member of Planet Fitness and did group yoga classes to get moving. For this year, I just make sure to get outside and walk everyday. I supplement with yoga classes on YouTube to keep up my flexibility. You need to figure out what works for you and go for it!
Getting enough sunshine is very important to keep your mood up during winter. According to Healthline, sunshine increases your serotonin which boosts your mood. If you can’t get enough sunshine during the day, you might want to try light therapy, like this one on Amazon.
If you can, arrange your home office so you can have blinds open during the day. There is limited sunshine during winter months anyways, so getting as much as possible during the day is key. You can’t work well with glare on your monitor, so change the position of your desk if possible so you can get sunshine and work done.
Three: Get Social(ly Distant)
Feeling isolated is a trend of our generation, but it doesn’t have to be true in our lives. Since seeing friends in person isn’t a safe activity this year, you can play online multiplayer games to interact, or start chatting friends on Instagram. For my friends that I don’t get to see very often, we still Snapchat most days to stay in contact.
I have also enjoyed playing the game Among Us and chatting on Discord in between rounds, or playing Jackbox games virtually. Many of my friends birthday parties have been virtual via Discord or Google Video calls which have been fun. If you feel safe enough, you could go skiing together or tubing so it’s outside, but you can still see friends in the snow. Keeping in touch with friends is very important, and it is possible to do so while remaining COVID-safe.
There are, of course, many other things you can do to stay upbeat this winter season. If you start with these three things, you are off to a great start.