Many people feel unhappy and discouraged during the winter months. About 5% of the U.S. population has been officially diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, often abbreviated SAD, but even more suffer from winter blues. If you are one of them, there are several steps that you can take to feel more positive.

Get Outside

Even if you must bundle up and cut your time shorter than average, get outside for a few minutes. Your body still gets Vitamin D that it needs to thrive from the sun. Additionally, your mental health will improve if you surround yourself with nature, so try to get out in a natural environment. If it is simply too cold, find an environment where you will still feel like you are in nature, such as visiting a public aquarium. Going on a scenic drive may also help you experience nature, which is a great way to boost your mood.

Plan a Vacation

You can improve your mood for six to eight weeks by planning a vacation, so start the planning process even if you cannot get away right now. Studies show that the trip can be up to six months away and still boost their happiness. Consider planning a virtual trip or future trip using YouTube and other resources if you cannot travel right now.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Doctors know that eating foods high in some nutrients boosts your mood naturally. According to a large study published by the National Library of Medicine, people who ate a diet high in Vitamin C were happier and less angry. When you eat enough Vitamin B6, your body naturally produces serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin, which help boost your mood. Scientists have touted the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids for heart health, but they are also great at boosting your mood. Other mood-boosting nutrients to incorporate into your diet include zinc, magnesium, and selenium.

Diffuse Essential Oils

Diffusing essential oils can help boost your moods. Look for entirely plant-based options. When you diffuse essential oils, the smell goes up your nose and interacts with the limbic system, which is the system responsible for your moods. One of the best essential oils to diffuse is lavender, and it can also help you get a great night’s sleep. If the winter blues have you feeling stressed and anxious, try diffusing some Roman chamomile. Many people love diffusing ylang ylang in the winter months because its floral aroma reminds them that spring is on the way.

Get the Right Amount of Sleep

Since it gets dark earlier at night and sunrise is not as early in the morning during the winter, many people have trouble maintaining a regular sleep schedule. Leaving a snug bed can be difficult. Yet, numerous studies show that it is vital to set a sleep study and stick with it year-round. You may find it easier to get started in the morning by using light therapy to stimulate the sunlight you experience when you get up in the summer months.

Following these winter wellness tips can help keep you motivated and healthy throughout the winter months. We are here to help if you need to talk to someone about the depression that you are feeling.

References:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6071228/
https://foodrevolution.org/blog/mood-boosting-foods/
https://www.skyscanner.com/tips-and-inspiration/travel-to-improve-your-mood