Since Daylight Savings Time occurred earlier this week, many of us are now dealing with darkness in the 'evening that comes on just after dinner. For some, the early-evening darkness means extra time for making a cup of tea, getting cozy, and watching hours of winter flicks. For others, wintertime means Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, which makes it tough to maintain positive, upbeat spirits in the cold and dark nights.
If you weren’t celebrating your “extra” hour when you made the Daylight Savings switch recently, you’re probably looking for ways to cope with the next few months -- where waking up and arriving home from work in the dark makes things a little more mentally tough.
Instead of moping around and feeling lackluster in the evenings, you can combat the gloom with these helpful tips to beat the winter blues.
1. Keep your surroundings as bright as possible
In the evenings when it’s dark, you’ll probably want to unwind with all the lights off -- but avoid this at all costs. Being surrounded by darkness can make the lethargy you feel even worse. Instead, make sure the rooms in your house are property lit with plenty of light. If there are rooms that seem particularly dreary and dim during winter, consider adding a new floor lamp or even a light therapy box, which can help with the effects of SAD.
2. Spend time outdoors whenever you can
While it may not be as ideal to head outside when temperatures approach zero degrees, you should still make time for the outdoors in the winter months. Bundle up in your best puffer, slip on those fuzzy boots, and spend some time outside. Whether you take the dog for a short walk or play in the snow with your kids, natural light is a known mood-booster. Not to mention, you’ll feel better getting outside after being cooped up indoors for much of the day, even if the cold doesn’t appeal at first.
3. Aim to exercise a few times each week
It takes a bit more creativity to expel your energy in the winter, but it’s important to stay active to avoid those winter blues. On a day you’re feeling gloomy or sluggish, head outside for a brief run or do some yoga indoors. Regular physical activity can actually work in your favor during the wintertime, giving you more energy by getting you moving and helping to combat despondency.
4. Take extra good care of your well-being
If you know you are prone to feeling groggier than usual in the colder months, you can adapt your daily routine to ensure you’re taking extra good care of yourself. You can effectively help boost your mood by focusing on your health more than usual. Doing things like protecting yourself against the flu by regularly washing your hands and keeping hand sanitizer where it’s easily accessible is always a good idea during winter. Also, you should strive to get plenty of sleep to help keep stress to a minimum.
By focusing first on your health this winter and doing what you can to beat that groggy feeling that arrives in the darkened evenings, you can combat the gloom you’re feeling and make the most of the cozy season. To help make your sleep environment as calming and serene as possible, check out our blog on creating a haven of organic rest.