I grew up in western Washington (basically the rain capital of the world) so you’d think I would be used to getting through dreary winters. Sadly, that’s not the case. I now live in upstate New York where it’s just as cloudy, and the winters seem to go on forever.
Here are 5 things that I do to fight off the winter blues. These tips are proven to be effective at counteracting depression and anxiety.
- Go for a walk, or get in a good workout. Research has shown that even just a brisk 10 minute walk is extremely effective at boosting your mood and fighting off depression and anxiety.
- Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D. This is so important, especially in the winter, as a large portion of our vitamin D comes from sun exposure. A vitamin D deficiency can cause depression. I have a cousin whose doctor recommended she visit a tanning bed once a week to help her seasonal depression. I don’t necessarily recommend that for everyone, but I do highly recommend taking calcium with vitamin D daily. Most calcium supplements come with vitamin D built in, and since calcium is also an important mineral for women, it’s a great combination.
- Spend time with an animal. Research has shown that spending time with an animal (especially a dog) can boost your mood and help fight both depression and anxiety. You could take your pooch on a walk, or just snuggle up by him for a little relaxation time.
- Meditate. Meditation has been proven as effective as anti-depressants for many people, in several research studies. That’s mind blowing to me. 10 minutes of meditation a day can have amazing benefits for your mind and soul. Two resources for getting started are the Headspace app, which provides 10 minute daily guided meditations, and Mindfulness: an eighth week plan for finding peace in a frantic world .
- Talk to a friend. Talking to a friend can be very therapeutic. You don’t even have to talk about what has you down, just simply getting out there and having a conversation can help boost your mood and energy.
My last tip would be to practice self love and eliminate toxic thinking. Do some research on positive affirmations and incorporate them into your morning routine.