The winter months can take a toll on many people, both physically and mentally. It can even result in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But even if the problem isn’t that bad, it’s still tough to make it through the coldest months of the year. And it’s only going to be harder this year as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why it’s important to stay on top of your self-care all winter. Here’s how:
It tends to be harder to exercise during the winter, when it’s too cold to simply slap on a pair of running shoes and take a jog around your neighborhood. But it’s important that you keep up some level of physical activity. Even if you’re just doing pushups or jumping jacks on the living room floor, it’s good for you. And exercise releases endorphins that push those winter blues away.
Eating properly is important all year round, and wintertime is no different. Feed yourself with nutritional meals whenever you can — make sure you’re getting the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, protein, and vitamins and minerals. Try adding a supplement if you think one area or another might be lacking. (Check with your healthcare provider first!) Try to stay away from sugary drinks and processed foods, and eat whole and natural foods whenever you can.
Try to be social.
It’s harder than ever to be social as we continue to navigate the pandemic, but make sure you’re taking some time to be with others, even if it’s in a virtual way. Few things can boost our mood like spending time with loved ones, so don’t ignore that Zoom call from your family or your virtual happy hour with coworkers. Social activities are important for the mind — being alone too often will only make you feel worse.
Spend time outdoors.
One of the reasons that seasonal affective disorder gets worse in the winter is because there’s less natural sunlight. Try to offset this by spending time outdoors, even when it’s cold. Go for a walk on your lunch break or explore some outdoor winter activities near you. Remaining cooped up inside constantly is never good for you!
Make the Most of Your Winter
Don’t let the winter blues affect your life. Be proactive about staying active and positive this winter and focus on the good things. That’s what will keep you going strong until spring!