3 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

3 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

winter blues

With winter officially here, it is natural to have an energy change as we transition into the next season. Spring and summer set the stage to be extroverted and enjoy outdoor activities (especially water activities). While fall and winter allow us to be introspective and do more solitary activities — curl-up with loved ones next to a fire, enjoy a hot cup of tea, and get out in the snow. Stay present and try to appreciate the benefits that each season brings. If the seasonal change gets to be too intense, please consult your physician and consider the following information.

Living in areas void of sunlight during the winter months can cause symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) like lethargy, depression, sleep difficulties, anxiety, poor cognitive function, altered eating habits, and more. But there are ways of combatting alteration of mood during the winter season.


Check your Vitamin D levels:

Several studies have supported the idea that insufficient vitamin D is associated with altered mood during winter months.

My favorite time to check vitamin D levels is in the fall after summer sun exposure, but anytime is a good time to check. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so the body is able to store it unlike water soluble vitamins (example: vitamin C and B vitamins). You can test vitamin D in the blood by asking your doctor for a 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test. Optimal levels are above 45 ng/dl.


Keep up with Exercise:

Exercise naturally increases happy endorphins, dramatically improves energy and mood, and increases body temperature. During winter months, consider trying yoga in a warmed room, aerobic exercise like an energetic spin class, or sauna therapy. Exercise’s effect on mood are consistent and quick, so ensure you make exercise a priority in your schedule.


Invest in a Light Box:

Normal office and home lighting emits 200-500 lux, which is too low to combat SAD as a normal sunny day’s intensity is about 100,000 lux. The average light box has an intensity of 10,000 lux.

By sitting in front of the light box for 30-60 minutes per day and allowing the light to shine through your eyes, you can supplement the lost daylight during the winter months. You do not have to stare at the box directly, but can keep it at your desk at work or breakfast table.

Make sure to take time to enjoy this winter with your loved ones. Despite the cold weather, there are many ways to enjoy the changes winter brings. Outdoor activities like skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, or simply bundling-up to take a long walk can be great bonding moments for your family. If you need to get cozy indoors, check out some of our fun DIY activities or warming recipes!


Tell us, what do you enjoy most about winter?  


This post is solely for informational purposes. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for medical advice. Before undertaking any course of treatment or dietary/health changes, you should seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.