We love winter here in Colorado, but after long stints of cold weather at times you may long for winter to turn to summer. Here are a few ideas to boost your mood and keep you mentally healthy, and happy during this winter season.
Revel in the sunshine.
Luckily, we’re here in a state that gets approximately 300 days of sunshine per year. Getting enough sunshine is a simple and natural way to boost your mood. During the day, leave your curtains and blinds open as long as possible. If you can, take a walk while it’s still bright out, preferably in the morning. Sunshine may increase levels of serotonin—a natural antidepressant—in the brain.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Sleep, sleep, sleep. Sleep is crucial to feeling your best. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep (7–9 hours for most adults) and maintain a consistent bedtime. Good sleep will help you improve your mood and overall mental health
Pet your pooch.
A fun way to beat the winter blues is spending time with your furry friend. Petting your dog for just 15 minutes has been shown to release a flurry of mood-boosting hormones including oxytocin.
Sweat it out.
In the long term, exercise can help lessen the severity of depression symptoms. But it can have an immediate effect on your health too. Research has found that exercise can lift your spirits immediately following a sweat session, thanks to feel-good endorphins released during a workout, often referred to as a “runner’s high.”
Opt for nutritious foods.
Wintertime can make you crave unhealthy comfort foods, but good nutrition is paramount to feeling your best. Opt for a balanced mix of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Omega-3 fatty acids, like the kind found in fish, have been proven to be especially mood-boosting.
Leave enough time in your schedule for self-care. Pour yourself a warm bubble bath, curl up with a good novel, treat yourself to a pedicure, or work on learning a new skill, such as knitting or painting. Go to yoga!
Start a gratitude journal.
Every night before bed, write down three things you’re grateful for. Studies show that people who regularly practice gratitude are happier in general.
Still finding it hard to beat the winter blues? Come see us, we can help.