About 20% of people experience mild to moderate feelings of the blues during the late fall and winter months. In its more serious form, this is referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder. Long nights and short days can make you feel like you never see the sun. Some signs you might have the winter blues include sadness, low energy, lethargy, anxiety, social withdrawal, excessive sleeping, or loss of interest in things you formerly enjoyed. When you notice any of those feelings kicking in, it’s time to take action.
- Try to get outside at least 20 minutes a day during the winter months, especially on the milder and sunny days. If it’s a nice sunny day out, make sure to prioritize getting outside!
- Maintain your exercise routine. Don’t let your exercise wane just because it’s getting colder or the days are shorter. Maintaining an exercise routine will keep those feelings of the blues away.
- Eat healthy. Try not to let the dark days of winter lead to emotional eating or eating lots of high carbohydrate foods because that can enhance low mood and increase fatigue.
- Focus on your goals. You’ll likely have more time inside during the winter, so use this time to your advantage by doing something to launch your life forward. Having something positive to focus on does wonders for improving the mood.
- Make plans with friends. Don’t let yourself get isolated during the winter. Fill up that social calendar!
- Consider seeking help from a licensed professional, especially if you’re noticing symptoms that are more severe.
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