A cloudy sky, a chilly breeze and hot chocolate worthy weather, yet you feel sad? You are not alone. Feeling sad during winter is a common occurrence. The technical term for this feeling is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). This affects our mental health, and can even impact our work life and how much we enjoy yourselves. Luckily, at Nourish Me, we have curated a list of hacks to feel happy this winter.
1. Catch up with loved ones
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people often fail to interact with their close ones during winter – we get it, nobody wants to be out in the cold! But making plans with friends at least once a week or even bi-weekly can keep away the blues.
Exercising gives your body a much needed chance to move. This assists in not only regulating body temperature but also releases endorphins. Studies show that exercising is linked directly with increased happiness.
3. Set small goals
If you’re feeling low, you will most likely be getting less satisfaction from your life. Setting small and achievable goals can provide a sense of accomplishment, which can stimulate your happy hormones. Small tasks like making the bed in the morning, cleaning the garage or making your own meal can provide you with that much needed boost.
4. Get some light
One thing that we all miss during winter is the abundance of sunshine throughout the day. Winter brings overcast skies, which can influence your mood and create a gloomy temperament. Getting some sunlight during the mornings or early afternoons can help you maintain a good mood as exposure to UV-B radiation from the sun, enables the skin to create vitamin D, and vitamin D can help improve your mood. Sunlight is also known to encourage the body to produce serotonin which is the happiness hormone.
5. Nourishing food
It’s okay to consume a bit of comfort food sometimes, if you’re feeling low. However, while these foods may be helpful for a quick pick-me-up, you should be nourishing your body with nutrient-rich foods. Foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and other useful nutrients will keep your body satiated and healthy in the long run, which will help in getting you through a long winter.
6. (Sensible!) retail therapy
It may be cold outside, but taking yourself down to your local shops or even a Christmas market may provide a little short term joy despite the temperature drop. While we would never advise you to spend money unnecessarily, getting out and about to tick purchases off your Christmas list instead of shopping online could be more beneficial to you. For one, swapping bulky dumbbells for fancy shopping bags could be a more exciting way to keep up your physical fitness. Plus, you can take advantage of the seasonal discounts, and who knows, you might find a great bargain!
7. Activities around the home
No! This does not mean doing chores or running to the grocery store, but instead activities like baking, creative DIY or inviting the family over for a game night can be a great way to spend a winter’s day. All that from the comfort of your home – what’s not to love?
8. Discover new hobbies
Revisiting those drawings you put away in the attic, working on your car in the garage, or building something from scratch can be a great idea to beat the winter gloominess. Studies have shown that these leisure activities tend to have a positive effect on our mental health. This is great to get that dopamine rush which we all crave during down times.
You may wonder how sleep relates to our happiness, but surprisingly sleep has a big effect on our moods. One study has shown that quality sleep directly affects our mood and has a big impact on our life satisfaction and happiness. A good sleep doesn’t just keep us physically healthy, but also helps us perform well in life.
This may be the last hack on our list, but it can provide the best results if you have the budget and a deep sense of wanderlust. A trip to the mountains for snowboarding or a sunny vacation to a beach resort can definitely cheer up your mood. Travelling can also help develop clarity of thought, which can give you the energy to start afresh upon returning to your normal activities. Oh, and the best part? Crazy content for your Instagram followers! No longer will you be the one suffering from FOMO (fear of missing out).
There is so much more that you can do to beat the winter glooms. Our hacks above are just a start and you can do whatever works best for you. Comment on our socials and share how you made your winters exciting! Happy winter!