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Keep Your Mood Up When Winter Gets You Down

Dec 17, 2020

When the days are short and the weather gets cold and icy, it can be tricky to stay in good spirits. Here are some tips to stay positive if you start to feel down:

Light therapy: Light therapy is a type of exposure to artificial light which mimics the effects of sunlight on the body and mind. It’s been shown to offset the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder, depression, sleep disorders and so on. Generally, it is shown to make people feel happier and more positive during the winter months. You can pick up a light therapy box at many stores and online retailers. Just pop it on for a few minute a day and feel those good vibes flow.

Meditation: Mindfulness can be hard to commit to these days with so many responsibilities and anxieties swimming around, but there are a ton of ways to practice. Try YouTube for a vast variety of types of meditation, some of which are even more active if you don’t feel you have the time to sit for a while. A good thing to try is Restorative Yoga, which will keep you moving while still providing mindfulness with slower, more relaxing stretches. If you're having trouble keeping up with a schedule, you might also try apps like HeadSpace which can help you plan and be held accountable right from your phone.

Diet: Diet can have a profound impact on your mood. Firstly, make sure you’re eating enough. Not eating enough throughout the day can cause low energy and in turn moodiness, fatigue, etc. Secondly make sure what you’re eating is fortifying your body AND mind. Foods like dark chocolate (you’re welcome), spinach (sorry), fish, bananas, turkey and berries are all shown to improve your mood and mental state! Vitamin D is also shown to increase mood during the colder, darker months where your body isn't getting it from sunlight. You can easily pick this up at your local pharmacy or grocery store (but maybe check with your doctor first).

Exercise: Exercise is hands down proven to increase mood. If you’re finding it difficult to adjust to staying active now that outside workout opportunities are dwindling, rest assured there are other ways to sweat. Being part of a studio like Fitness Together is one way. Another is to use household objects like stairs, soup cans, paper plates, towels, backpacks, or anything you can to pull something together. Make a plan for yourself or ask your trainer for some advice and try to stick to it at least a couple of times a week. If you're really feeling like getting outside, warm clothes, layers, hats and gloves, and good shoes with traction can really turn a crummy walk or run into a manageable winter workout. Don't be afraid to invest in some nice cold-weather gear; you live in New England! Get creative -- remember any movement is better than nothing and will help.

There are plenty of ways to keep motivated and positive during these times. Just keep trying things until you find what works for you. Remember, if you're really feeling down, let someone know, talk to friends and family, and don't be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. The winter is a beautiful time time to enjoy. Just keep your head up and smile on!

Photo: https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice?page=3&fbclid=IwAR0TkN_0OEUfPXaJ2njamG0sq0RWcDpXTSuJh48W52iMrVzrOkDm4mczToc

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