The sun is shining, the birds are singing and the air is warm — the summer season just began. There’s nothing but blue skies in your future. That happy period tends to last until around the end of August for most people. Then, fall and winter begin to creep in. It starts slowly, but eventually it’s mid-November, it gets dark by 5 p.m. and it looks like there’s no hope. Learning how to be productive during winter is tough.
If you’ve ever felt like this, you aren’t alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a real issue that affects people. It causes feelings of lethargy or even illness in its sufferers. Headaches may hit you more often, and you struggle to find the motivation to work out or tackle your chores — and these dark, cold winter months are to blame. If you need to figure out how to be productive during winter, you’ll be happy to know there are some fun ways to do this!
So, how do you combat this? What can you do to stay happy in the winter?
1. Eat Right
Getting the correct nutrition is such an essential component of your life that helps manage any physical or mental health complaints. For instance, avoid sugary foods that add empty calories, and eat nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods such as whole grains, veggies and fruits that keep you feeling full longer.
Another trick is to eat some tropical foods! These foods remind you of summer and the good times that are lying just around the corner. Some pineapple is an excellent choice!
2. Get Sunlight
One of the reasons you feel awful in the winter is lack of sunlight. Sunlight supplies you with Vitamin D, which helps keep some of the chemicals in your brain stable. When you don’t have access to sunlight, you don’t get the Vitamin D. Your mood begins to swing, and you feel more depressed than usual.
In the winter, take advantage of those rare sunny days and go outside, even if it’s just for five minutes!
Exercise is key to fending off depression of any kind. When you exercise, your brain releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins that serve as a natural mood booster. Naturally, when the winter months hit, it gets harder to exercise. It’s cold outside, and you just don’t have time when it gets dark at 5 p.m.
Try not to let your workout routine slip during the fall and winter months. One alternative is to walk around the block at lunchtime. You can also try activities such as meditating.
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4. Use a Humidifier
While it may almost seem out of place on this list, humidifiers are an excellent happiness hack to beat the winter blues. Why? If you haven’t noticed, the weather gets weird during the winter, and your body reacts accordingly. You may experience cracked skin and nosebleeds due to dry air.
Using a humidifier helps add a healthy balance of moisture to indoor air. And reducing your chances of things such as nosebleeds leads to a happier you!
5. Start a Small Indoor Garden
If you can find the space for indoor container gardening, it’s entirely worth it. The garden gives you a sense of accomplishment as you nurture a living thing. The garden can be small, and it doesn’t matter what you grow. It’s the principle of the matter that means the most.
The garden also gives you something to look forward to, as growing greenery tends to remind people of the spring and summer!
6. Play Upbeat Music
Do you feel groggy in the morning? If you’re not a morning person, you may wake up, roll out of bed and still be half-asleep by the time you get to work — even in the summer. So how do you combat this? Upbeat music!
Play cheerful, high-tempo music in the morning as you start your day. It energizes you and gets the blood flowing. It also helps enhance your mood during those dark and dreary mornings. Try it, and you won’t be disappointed!
When it’s 20 degrees outside and you’re beginning to wonder if you’ll ever see the sun again, reading can provide a much-needed escape from reality. Perhaps you should try reading a book based in a desert or set during the summertime! Even if it’s not, a good book should still do its job and transport you away from your life for a bit.
The winter blues can take a toll on you. But try these tips to boost your mood and alleviate the feelings of depression. Try one, or several, of these happiness hacks for a few days and see how you feel. And remember, spring is just around the corner!
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