10 tips to fight off the winter blues
The days are short and the sun is playing hide and seek. It is a brand-new year and instead of feeling hopeful, you are feeling rather down.
You are not alone. The cold weather and the lack of sunlight is associated with a kind of deep unhappiness or depression. Many of us suffer from this seasonal depression also known as the winter blues and the condition is not a myth.
There is scientific evidence to support the idea that weather can deeply affect our moods. The medical name for this winter depression is seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
The people who suffer from SAD are known to have normal mental health throughout most of the year. However, they exhibit depressive symptoms during the cold season, according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a publication by the American Psychiatric Association.
Let's explore 10 hacks to survive bouts of winter blues.
1. Be physically active
Physical activities can help fight off depression. Take a walk or take part in popular winter sports like badminton. Try to do some regular exercises. Exercise and sports help your body release endorphins which is known to trigger positive feeling.
2. Keep warm
Being cold will only aggravate the downward spiral. Make sure to wear enough layers for your physical and mental well-being. A hot cup of tea-coffee and popular winter pithas/snacks with friends and family can improve your mood.
3. Have healthy diet
What you eat can significantly affect your mental health. Depression may lead to unhealthy eating habit. However, if you give in, it might worsen your mood further.
On the other hand, a healthy diet will boost your mood and give you more energy. Make sure to incorporate enough vitamin D in your meals during winter. Also try to have a lot of root vegetables, cauli flowers, broccolis, and proteins. Despite the allures of winter pithas, make sure to balance your craving for carbohydrates.
4. See the light
Daytime is shortened during winter. However, make use of however little sunlight you can get. Try to be in the sun or the outdoors during daytime. Looking at the sky, trees or being among the nature instead of being indoors all the time can significantly improve your mental health.
5. Try new indoor activities
Start reading a good book or may be watch a new show or movie recommended by a friend. Being warm and cozy in your bed after a long day at work, with or without a loved one, can fight off the winter blues.
6. Connect with friends and family
This is a good time to catch up with a friend or relative you have been meaning to talk to for a while. Message a friend or fix an appointment to meet a family member. Meeting with people whose company you enjoy is a great way to lift your mood.
7. Plant winter flowers
Winter flowers in Bangladesh are vibrant and colorful. If you can manage to keep some in your balcony, seeing the blooms and taking care of the plants will provide you with a sense of fulfillment helping boost your mood.
8. Take a vacation
Winter is the most favourable season to go on a trip. A break from work and everyday life will keep you going for a while after you return from the vacation. Your village home would be a great destination for winter trip under budget—the mustard fields, delicious traditional snacks, and simplicity of life will rejuvenate your mental health.
9. Invest in charity
Many people around us cannot afford to be concerned about their mental health during winter due to poverty. They sleep on the footpaths on cold winter nights and struggle to manage three meals a day.
You can arrange giving away clothes, blankets, and food to these unfortunate city dwellers. You can also give money to a trustworthy charity organisation for winter giveaway. Doing something good for the world or humanity will help you feel better about yourself, therefore lift your mood.
10. Be positive
As cliché as it sounds, it is an effective hack.
Think positively and do positive things. Plan a picnic or a day tour with your family members or friends. Take lots of pictures and eat good food. Make memories and try to count the blessings.
Reflect on how far you have come in life and believe in yourself. Stay humble and have faith. Remember that nothing is permanent and bad times always pass.