The start of this week marked Blue Monday, what is known as the most depressing day of the year. After the holidays are over and we’ve had sometime to settle back into work, the idea of a long winter ahead can get to some people. While it might seem a little farfetched, the winter blues are a very real thing. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is diagnosed to those people who suffer from depression in the winter month. However, there are ways to fend off the winter blue and by following these tips you won’t have to worry about Blue Monday again.
Experts say that the poor weather that comes with winter is not what causes winter depression but rather staying cooped up inside. Yes, it’s cold out there but it will do you no good to avoid the outside altogether. Force yourself to get out every once in a while, especially in the morning. Go for a walk, even just to get the mail. It might not seem like a lot but some fresh air and change of scenery will do wonders for lifting your spirits.
Brighten up your space.
When you are inside, you want to make sure you’re not falling victim to the artificial light. In offices especially, the lack of natural light can be a real drain and bring down your energy quite a bit. If you’re not lucky enough to have a window in your office, get some sunlight whenever possible. Go outside on your break instead of staying in the break room. Some bright light will do a ot to brighten your day and lift your spirits.
Exercise is very important this time of year. Not only for your physical health but your mental health as well. Studies have shown that regular exercise can not only make you feel better, but actually helps to fight off depression. Don’t let the cold weather be an excuse. Join a gym if need be, but try to get at least a little bit of a workout each days and you’ll feel much better for it.
Much like the exercise, eating right is a great way to stay healthy in body and mind. It can be pretty easy to fall into a cycle of easy meals and take-out but eating a lot of energy-boosting meals if the smart way to go. Try to eat food high in Omega-3 and plan your meals in advance so that you are searching for something easy to eat. Stick to a healthy diet then you can go back to the BBQ come the summer.
Finally, it’s important to get out a lot in the winter. You may feel the desire to curl up at home, but you’ll only be digging yourself into a hole. Fight those instincts and go be social. Meet up with friends after work, visit family on the weekends, set up a weekly inclusive activity. Social interaction can really be great for keeping spirits high, and no matter what problems you’re having, it’s always easier with loved ones around.