As a teen growing up in Cache Valley, I loved summer. The outdoor possibilities were endless. However, I couldn’t understand why my mood took such a terrible hit in October and November. As an adult and many years later, I do now!
Do you dread the thought of winter? Its long nights and short, hazy, or foggy days? Does the thought of snow and cold make you long for the warmth of spring with its longer days and beautiful green grass?
If so, this blog is for you.
How to Beat Winter
Over the years I’ve noticed that many, many people struggle with their mood in winter. In fact, health care professionals have even created a term for it. That is, Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Here’s 5 solid ways to turn winter from your sworn enemy to your BFF.
Get Out of the House
Sitting in your home and lamenting winter from November through March isn’t going to help. In fact, it will only make you detest winter more. Definitely move your body!
Get To the Gym
Exercise during winter will help you fight the feeling of low energy and lethargy. You don’t have to be a gym rat to get a significant boost to your mood and motivation. Just be consistent and take it one easy/moderate/challenging workout at a time.
We all know the benefits of getting summer sun in moderation on our bodies. The sun promotes vitamin D development which enhances our mood. It stands to reason that if you hole up inside all winter your mood will take a significant hit. Get outside, even in January, to feel better.
Get Out of Dodge
While many of us would love to live in St. George or even Phoenix during the winter, that isn’t feasible for most. What is feasible is taking a vacation down south. Whether it’s St. George, Phoenix, or even Honolulu, definitely get of out Dodge. Your mood and motivation will love you for it!
Get To the Mountains
When the inversion season hits (and it will), most people find the weather intolerable. Want a solution? Simply get to the mountains. Getting above the inversion will revitalize you as the sun feels amazing. Whether it’s to ski, snowshoe, or just to drive to Park City, you’ll definitely feel a benefit when the sun warms your face.
A Parting thought
These five ways to change your thinking about winter will definitely help. Choose 2 of the 5 and do them consistently. You WILL feel a difference!
While this is a likely a subject for another blog post, eating healthier, getting adequate (don’t over do it!) sleep, and surrounding yourself with emotionally healthy people will also pay you wonderful winter benefits.
Michael Boman, LCSW is a therapist with 18+ years experience working with individuals, couples, and families. He is also a believer in exercise and taking care of oneself. He welcomes your comments.