It may be summer in the USA now but over here in Australia we are headed into winter. I’m here to show you 10 tips for beating the winter blues so you can combat that feeling we sometimes get when the leaves fall off the trees and the sun sets way too early and we start unpacking our winter gear in preparation for those hibernation months of winter…
But first, why am I talking about beating the winter blues?
Depending on where you live in Australia—winter will either be something you dread or something that passes you by without noticing.
Sometimes even people who live in the warmer states like Queensland experience cyclical changes that affect their moods and disposition.
The extreme form of this is called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a cyclical form of depression caused by changes in the circadian rhythm—a 24-hour cycle that regulates biochemical processes in the body.
For some people, as the hours of sunlight decrease in autumn and winter, their circadian rhythm cycle can become disrupted. The hormone melatonin and the neurotransmitter serotonin suddenly drop in the winter and this causes lethargy, depression, irritability and weight gain.
So what are my top 10 tips for beating the winter blues?
1. Take Vitamin D3:
Vitamin D3 is not actually a vitamin, it’s a steroid hormone manufactured in the body from direct exposure to sunlight. Because sunlight is weak or scarce in some winters, be sure to buy Vitamin D3 supplements to make up for lost sunlight!
2. Invest in a high quality light therapy sun lamp:
Light therapy sunlamps are often household necessities in states that suffer from lack of winter sunshine like Washington state. Be sure to invest in a high quality sun lamp that you can use throughout the day for 15 minutes at a time.
3. Hibernate happily:
Sometimes it’s best to surrender to winter and take up hibernation like a bear. You can watch movies you’ve always wanted to see or curl up on the couch with a good book you’ve been meaning to read or get all cozy by the fire in your favorite woolly socks.
4. Eat warm, nourishing comfort foods:
Use this time to make those rich bean soups and hearty squash and root vegetable stews that you’ve been wanting to try. It will nourish and warm your body and spirit.
5. Watch comedy shows and improv that make you laugh out loud:
Laughter is the best medicine. Download your favorite comedian and watch the show till you have a stitch in your side from laughing or put on your sexy winter boots and invite a friend out to see your favorite comedian live.
6. Layer up and go for walks outside in the cold, fresh air:
Just because it’s cold outside, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be outside. Let layers be your friend. A warm jacket, woolie hat and gloves may be needed for a stroll on a wintery early morning and evening . Notice how you return home refreshed.
7. Spend time soaking it up in a hot tub or sauna:
There is nothing that raises your body heat quite like soaking it up in a hot tub or sauna. Just do it weekly throughout winter! You can’t go wrong.
8. Find a movement class that makes you sweat:
Getting your body moving floods you with feel-good endorphins. So find a high energy dance class like Zumba or African Dance or even belly dancing and get your groove on. Maybe try out hot yoga? Then treat yourself to a cup of hot chocolate afterwards with your new dance buddy.
9. Buy some great looking winter outfits so you don’t feel frumpy:
Take all your old, moth-eaten sweaters to Goodwill and buy yourself some sexy, head-turning winter gear like leggings and boots so you can go out and about in style.
10. Take a holiday somewhere sunny or tropical:
If the winter months are simply unbearable, there is nothing that breaks it up better than a short vacation to a sunny place like Queensland or if you a feeling adventures, Hawaii . It will give you the boost to get through the rest of the winter… this time with a tan!
How will I know which of these tips will work for me?
Start by picking your top three that just jump out at you. Those are the ones that obviously appeal to you the most—so that’s a great place to start!
Next, schedule a time on your calendar to actually do them starting tomorrow.
So if you picked hot tub, movement class, and nourishing soup, then go out today and buy the ingredients for the soup to cook tomorrow and find a movement class you can start next week and treat yourself to your local hot tub spa on the weekend!
Once you’ve done these three keep doing them if you enjoy them or ditch them if you don’t! And then start adding more from your top 10 list until pretty soon winter will be over and you will learn to do it all over again.
To your health!