5 Tips to Avoid the Winter Blues

It’s the time of year when many people feel what is often called the “winter blues.” Days are shorter and colder, which means you may have less energy or feel moody. Here are five tips to help you feel healthier and happier all winter long.

1. Exercise: Physical activity has many benefits to your health including relieving stress, improving your mood, and increasing your energy. The winter months can often hamper our exercise routines, but take time to get 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.

2. Eat healthy: Eating the right food can help boost your energy. Eat a well-rounded diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy. Limit the number of holiday treats you eat and opt instead for a new, healthy recipe. Try a hearty stew with vegetables to keep you warm on cold days.

3. Get Some Sun: The sun not only provides us with Vitamin D but can also help improve our mood. We often get less sun in the winter because the days are shorter, so take a break from your daily routine to get outside. But don’t forget the sunscreen! You can still get sunburned in the winter and on cloudy days.

4. Catch Some Z’s: Busy schedules around the holidays can really affect our rest and relaxation time. To help keep your energy and mood up, set a goal to get eight hours of sleep per night. Create a relaxing routine before bed to unwind from the day and to help you sleep better.

5. Be Social: Sometimes our first instinct when we start to feel down is to be by ourselves. While we all need alone time, our friends and family can help when we’re feeling blue. Take the time to enjoy social activities or catch up with an old friend.

More than just the winter blues?
If you have symptoms such as anxiety, loss of energy, social withdrawal, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, or heavy feeling in the arms or legs, you might have more than the winter blues. If you’ve been feeling down for days at a time, see your doctor. He or she can determine if you are dealing with depression and provide advice on how you can start feeling better.