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5 Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Keeping healthy with an autoimmune condition

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The winter months can be a difficult time for many of us. The days are shorter, the temperatures colder, and the motivation to get out of bed in the morning can feel like an uphill battle. But that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to the winter blues. Here are five tips that can help you drum up some energy and motivation this season. 

1. Get Outside:

When it’s cold outside, it can be tempting to hunker down inside, but getting out in nature is actually a great way to boost your mood and energy levels. When sunlight hits our eyes it sets our circadian rhythms for the day, creating the right cortisol and melatonin levels for us to have energy in the daytime, and feel sleepy at night. 

Getting outside daily to take a walk is essential. Take a walk around your neighborhood (bundling up makes it more fun!), or if possible, try to plan an outdoor activity like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. 

A little fresh air and seeing nature will do wonders for your energy levels and overall well-being. Plus, exercise has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression while also boosting endorphins which naturally increase our happiness levels. 

2. Make Time for Self-Care: 

Self-care is important all year round, but especially during the winter months when it’s easy to slip into a funk of fatigue and apathy. 

Take some time each day—even just 10 minutes—to do something that makes you happy, whether it’s reading a book before bed, taking a bath with essential oils and candles, or going to a yoga class with friends. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it brings you joy. 

We love gua sha, the practice of using a tool to apply pressure and scrape the skin to relieve pain and tension. It’s a wonderful ritual to add to the morning or evening routine, and one that helps us look better, too.

3. Make Plans Ahead of Time: 

If you’re feeling unmotivated during the winter months, try making plans ahead of time so that you have something to look forward to in the future. This could be anything from planning a weekend getaway with friends, signing up for fun classes at your local community center, or even just scheduling weekly date nights with your significant other. 

Having something on the calendar will give you something positive to focus on and help make sure that those days don’t blend together in one big blur of boredom. 

4. Eat Right: 

What we put into our bodies has an enormous impact on how we feel physically and mentally—so make sure you’re eating healthy foods rich in nutrients like healthy proteins and vegetables. 

There’s a reason why pumpkin spice lattes caught on like wildfire. Winter months are about hibernation and warm and cozy feelings, so hunker down with some rich stews, soups, and warming spices. Here’s one of our cool-weather favorites from our friend Alison at Food by Mars: (Dairy-Free) Cream Sausage Potato Soup.

Cream Sausage Potato Soup, recipe: Food by Mars

5. Reach Out To People You Love: 

Feeling disconnected from others can be one of the most draining parts about wintertime blues; luckily there are plenty of ways we can stay connected even if we’re not able to physically see each other every day. 

Make sure you’re reaching out regularly via text messages or video calls—talking through our feelings always helps us feel better connected & supported by others which is key when struggling with fatigue & low moods during these darker months. 

Not feeling it? How about sharing a meme, or something funny with a friend just for a chuckle.

Winter doesn’t have to be full of doom and gloom—there are plenty of ways we can beat back those sluggish feelings brought on by shorter days & colder temperatures.

Incorporate these five tips into your daily routine this season for extra motivation & energy—plus who knows? Maybe by springtime you’ll have enough momentum built up that carrying forward over into summer won’t seem so hard after all.

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