For most of us, winter isn’t the most fun time of the year.
On the Victorian postcards, we can see kids and adults involved in outdoor activities like building snowmen, skiing, skating or taking long walks.
Something has changed. Not sure what exactly. It could be the global warming, because most of the winters we get these days are sleety and rainy rather than sunny and snowy. Or it could be that, back in those days, the range of home-based activities was very limited, and people felt the urge to entertain themselves by going outside.
Whichever the reason, for some of us, autumn and winter feel miserable.
While the actual reason behind this winter-conveyed feeling might be complex and hard to overcome, there are a few ways to improve the situation here and now.
As you remember, our bodies synthesize vitamin D when exposed to the sun.
Opposite to what happens during summertime, winter sun is something to be enhanced.
In the perfect life scenario, we would all be taking hours-long walks in the woods every day. But in our everyday lives, leaving the office several times during working hours and taking 3-5 minute walks could also help. If you’ve got a grocery store within walking distance from your home or office, winter is the time to enhance this opportunity.
A more harsh, yet viable, option would be to find a parking spot half a mile away from your home. A healthy walk from and to home is guaranteed, along with health benefits.
2. Time to work on your biorhythm
“Night owls” are a relatively new bio-addition to humankind, considering those thousands of years people spent tending to their business only during daytime and going to bed as soon as the sun’s past the horizon.
We can only fight the nature for that long before it shoots back in winter blues and lack of motivation. This point strongly correlates with the previous claim about staying outside and getting a daily share of vitamin D.
Hence, try to wake up early. Easier said than done, I know. But as an experienced night owl, I promise, you only struggle the first 2 weeks of waking up at 6 am, then your body suddenly produces a reaction similar to saying “Why didn’t we do this before? Feels good.”
3. Take fish oil capsules
It’s not a replacement for sunlight, but they work great together enhancing each other. Omega-3 balances mood, soothes skin and relieves joint pain.
Fish oil is believed to be the reason why people in Iceland almost never experience winter blues. Obviously, eating lots of fatty fish would be a perfect solution; but if your budget won’t allow switching to all-organic gourmet sorts of fish, fish oil capsules could be almost as good and also many times cheaper.
The scientists haven’t figured why exactly fish oil works the way it does in winter. Still, the real-life precedents of fish oil working miracles with winter mood swings don’t leave much room for doubts.
Doesn’t mean you have to arrange a spa at your place, especially if you’re a man and don’t want to do the “girly stuff”. Applying a perfume you like or changing the air freshener to something that better suits your mood is often a valid option.
For those, who wish to go hardcore, there’re essential oils, body oils and home perfumes. Scent preferences are extremely individual, so you should figure out what works best for you, a list of “best essential oils for winter” simply won’t do it. Although, bear in mind that your winter scent preferences may vary from summer preferences, so you might want to work your nose through a range of smells one more time.
Let me remind you that none of these methods produces an immediate effect. But in the long run, your body and brain will be extremely thankful to you for going the extra mile to make yourself feel better.
If these tips aren’t enough, you can always go for a more holistic approach to fight mood swings (see the infographic).
Chin up, cupcake!
You’ll make it!