As the days get colder and shorter, many people struggle with feelings of sadness, irritability, or loss of energy. This seasonal sadness is often labeled the “winter blues,” and it can have a devastating effect on your productivity and performance. To help manage the winter blues, here are a few options you might want to consider.
- Aromatherapy : Aromatherapy — the use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes — may also help those with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Essential oils could potentially help lessen symptoms of depression and other psychological issues like anxiety and sleep problems. When it comes to SAD in particular, essential oils could potentially influence the area of the brain that’s responsible for controlling moods and the body’s internal clock that influences sleep and appetite, Dr. Kalayjian says. And although the evidence for aromatherapy may be limited, using essential oils could be a simple and safe way to improve mental well-being — particularly when paired with another soothing activity, like a taking a bath or enjoying company by candlelight.
- Spend more time cooking: If you’re one of those people who didn’t try cooking during the initial days of lockdown, we say you try it right about now! Not only the final product but also the process of cooking brings immense joy and satisfaction.
- Move your body: Winters can make you lethargic and in such a scenario, the idea of working- out seems next to impossible. So, how about parting ways with the conventional form of physical activities and doing what you like? For example, you can go dancing, running or hiking. Physical activity is important because it leads to the release of endorphins, or the happy hormones, that uplift your mood.
- Get as much sunlight as possible: Darker days throw off your body clock, which is activated by sunlight. Experts recommend getting as much sunlight as possible, especially at the start of your day. If it’s difficult to get adequate natural sunlight, you can use “sunbox” lights designed to mimic light from the sun. They’re available at affordable prices online and are recommended as treatment for both the winter blues and SAD. Placing the sunbox on a table for 30 minutes while you eat breakfast or get ready for work is the most beneficial strategy. If you have the time, heading somewhere sunnier for a week or two also helps. Resetting your body clock helps lift depressive symptoms, and it’s also liked to appetite. So, if you’re getting unhealthy food cravings, sunlight can help with that, too.
- Taking a winter vacation: Winter vacation to warmer climates can help alleviate symptoms of SAD by helping you escape cold and overcast skies. Even a short break from your daily routine in a sunny place can be helpful with winter depression. “The excitement that can lift your mood can start as you prepare for your vacation and linger for a few weeks after you return,” researcher adds. If your travel plans have been sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic, consider planning a “staycation” instead — taking time off from work and finding ways to experience typical vacation activities within your own home and community.
Make your space cosy: Making your place warm and cosy can be relaxing for your mind and body. Try including indoor plants as they not only purify the indoor air but can also boost your mood. Moreover, to make it cosier you can also add in some scented candles. Scents can have a very relaxing effect on your mind and research from the Association for Psychological Science found that floral scents can boost the feelings of happiness.