It’s here. Gray skies, blustery temperatures, and less daylight are all signs that winter has arrived. Quickly, before winter blues set in, try these tips to ward off those bluesy, down feelings.
1) Get in sync with the dark and light
In winter, we typically don’t get enough light in the daytime. At night, we also tend to be bombarded with too much light while trying to sleep.
Try setting a timer hooked up to a fluorescent lamp so it goes on one hour before your alarm clock goes off. This will help simulate an artificial dawn to get your body active earlier in the day.
At the same time, cover up artificial sources of light that may be on while you are sleeping such as clock displays, TV or computer lights, and pull those shades tight to block out street lights. This artificial illumination interferes with the production of melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep better.
The moment you are up, open those curtains and flip on the lights. Consider investing in a SAD light if you still feel starved for the sun.
2) Change your environment to get ready for cold
Instead of fighting winter, embrace it.
Break out warm comforters and fleecy blankets and spread them around in the rooms where you spend most of your time. Use your fireplace or splurge for an electric one to treat yourself.
Remove the screens and wash your windows to bring in more sunshine. Leave the curtains open during winter to bring in more light in the daytime, but be sure to close them all at night so you are not looking at black glass, which will make you feel colder.
Transfer those summer clothes down to the bottom drawers or into boxes while you move your sweaters and turtlenecks up to higher ones for easy reach.
3) Get outside
Bundle up and go for a brisk walk. Aerobic exercise acts to raise serotonin levels which may be low, contributing to those winter blues.