How to Deal with the Winter Blues

Coffee cup in the winter.
Credit: Alex Padurariu / Unsplash

Ah, winter. There are so many things to love about this season! From the fun holidays spent with loved ones, to the irresistible shopping deals and steals, this season is certainly one of the best. But with the changes it brings, this cold season is also known for bringing about “the winter blues,” also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). With less exposure to light, we may find ourselves feeling fatigued, sad and struggle with concentration. While some symptoms can be managed, it’s important to consider seeking help if symptoms persist. To help you navigate the potentially rough road ahead, we’ve created a list of techniques you can try to adopt for a lighter season instead.

1. Nature is Nurturing

Winter and sunlight.
Credit: Tadeusz Lakota / Unsplash

When it comes to getting out of a rut or dealing with feelings of stress, moving our bodies and spending time in nature can be a quick yet efficient mood booster. Try to take short walks every day, even if it’s for a few minutes. Or if you don’t feel like taking a walk, sit outside for a few minutes and breathe in the fresh air. It’s important to bask in the sunlight whenever you can; try to keep your blinds open and let the natural light in.

2. Indulge in Cold-Weather Comforts

Hot cocoa.
Credit: Alisa Anton / Unsplash

The winter season can be quite charming! Christmas movies, holiday plans and hot chocolate by the fireplace are sure to add a touch of lightness to the days ahead. Another great way to fight the winter blues is to focus on these winter charms instead. Cozy up in comfortable loungewear at home to feel endlessly relaxed. Or invest in some winter accessories that’ll warm you right up this cold season. From fuzzy gloves to warm scarves, indulging in cold-weather comforts can be a soothing way to fight the winter blues.

3. Experiment with Aromatherapy

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Studies have found that aromatherapy, a practice where essential oils are used to improve well-being, is helpful in a number of ways! From improving sleep quality to reducing stress and anxiety, scents like eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender can promote relaxation. You can diffuse these scents throughout a room or even use them during a bubble bath. This season, explore how scented candles and oils can improve your overall sense of comfort as you deal with the winter blues.

4. Fill Up Your Social Calendar

People sitting.
Credit: Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

One of the symptoms of the winter blues is not wanting to socialize. Of course, it’s not easy to go out when we’re feeling low; but try to gently encourage yourself to socialize by going on effortless coffee dates with friends or spending a quiet night in with a loved one. Having something to look forward to on your social calendar can help you avoid feeling lonely. It can remind you of the people in your life who cherish your presence.

5. Add More Nutrients to Your Diet

Credit: Davies Designs Studio / Unsplash

One way of effectively dealing with the winter blues is by eating mood-boosting foods like nuts, seeds, berries, whole grains and spinach. Certain foods like salmon and other lean proteins carry amino acids that can boost your energy and help you fight fatigue. Berries, like blueberries and raspberries, contain nutrients that can also help in reducing stress! Most importantly, Vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin) is integral to fighting the winter blues. You can find this vitamin in foods like mushrooms or fish, or even in a supplemental form. Ultimately, food can be a great way to increase our well-being this season.

We hope these techniques help you as you navigate the colder season upon us! What are some of your go-to tips for fighting the winter blues? Let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

Written by Sania Malik

Sania is passionate about all things social justice, sushi, and self-care. With a background in journalism and human rights studies from Concordia University, Sania is interested in learning about systemic inequalities and the law. When she isn’t reading a thriller novel or trying her hand at creative writing, you can find her at a kickboxing gym or a coffee shop in Montréal, pretending to enjoy a bitter Americano when all she truly wants is an overly sweet Frappuccino.

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