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How to Prevent Winter Depression

During the winter, it’s fairly common for people to feel down and a little blue, especially as the days seem to get shorter. This change in moods due to weather is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it’s most common when the season changes to winter. While it might seem okay to feel a little down during the winter, it can actually turn into long­term depression if you do not work to change your mental state during these months. You also need to know that just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that you have to feel sad and blue, and there are many ways to overcome these feelings. Here are some good tips that you can follow in order to avoid these winter blues and get yourself out of a depressive state.

Take a Walk Outside

While you might live in an area where it seems to be below freezing during the winter months, but this is no excuse not to get outside and take a walk. You might think that being outside will make you feel worse, but actually the natural sunlight is a great way to help you prevent winter depression. The UV rays that are transmitted from the sunlight can give your body essential Vitamin D, which is crucial for improving your mood. winter-sadYou do not have to take a walk outside everyday, but just going out for 20 or 30 minutes a day a few times a week is good for avoiding depression. You can also make it a family activity by getting the spouse and kids involved for these walks, which can help you feel like you are positively impacting the family with this routine.
Obviously, you will need to dress for the weather if you plan to be outside, so make sure you are wearing comfortable clothing that helps keep your body warm and don’t stay outside for more than an hour. You also need to make sure you are careful walking outside if it’s snowy or icing outside because this can be dangerous.

Exercise Multiple Times a Week

One thing that can help you prevent a wintertime depression is to stick with an exercise routine, even during the busy holiday season. When you workout, your brain will release endorphins, which help please the feel good centers of the brain, which then will allow your mood to stay more positive. Even if you are living in a very cold place, you can still exercise by joining a gym during the winter months or just exercise in your house if you have the equipment. The best thing to do would be to join a gym and get a six­month trial membership around October, which will help you avoid ever going into the depressive state during the winter. Working out about four times a week can significantly improve your mood and it will make you feel better about yourself overall, especially if you tend to overeat during the holiday season. Never make the excuse that it’s too cold to workout because these days there are so many different gyms and indoor yoga or dance groups you can participate in that you can find what fits you.

Eat Healthy Even During the Holidays

One of the most important ways you can avoid winter depression is to eat a healthy diet, and this includes during the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although there might not be as many good fresh fruits and vegetables out during the winter, it’s highly important that you still focus on eating the best you can by eating fresh produce and meats. You do not want to eat processed foods like white bread or white pasta and potatoes. Try adding a salad a day into your diet and avoid overeating sugary foods and drinks. If you eat a healthy diet it will improve your mood and give your body essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly. If you fail to get these essential vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet, you will feel lethargic and your metabolism drops, which then in turn will make you feel depressed or overly anxious.
You can also add some almonds and nuts into your meals and even just grab a handful during the day instead of snacking on Christmas cookies.

Do Home Projects You’ve Been Wanting to Do

When it’s wintertime, you can actually begin focusing on projects inside your house that you have been putting off because of the summer months. You can avoid winter depression by putting your energy and focus into these house projects that you are interested in doing. Whether this is repainting your house or a room or redecorating, the winter is the best time to get these projects done. It’s important however that you start thinking about these projects during the fall, instead of waiting until you feel the depression coming on in the middle of winter. There are a number of reasons for this such as if you don’t plan it out in advance, you might get caught up in the depressive state and lose your interest in starting or completing these projects. You also want to plan these projects in advance because they take time and money to complete, so it’s always a good idea to start thinking about home projects well before you start so you go into the project prepared.
It’s also good to start thinking about these home projects a little before winter begins because it gets your mind off of the upcoming winter, so it keeps your mind busy and keeps you feeling upbeat since you have goals in mind.

Start a New Hobby

Even though it might be wintertime, you can still begin a new hobby, and actually it might be better that way because you can keep focused on what your trying to accomplish. No matter how old you are you can always learn something new, especially if it’s something you’ve always wanted to do but felt like you just didn’t have the time. You can take up a new hobby like sewing or learning a new language or you could start taking free online courses to learn something educational. You might also decide that maybe you have always wanted to start your own Blog, so the wintertime is a great time to begin that project since it’s cold and there’s nothing better to do anyways. Starting a new hobby will make you feel good about yourself because you are learning something new and practicing a certain skill set. Getting into an activity that is new will also be exciting and motivational, which can all be great ways to avoid depression.

Get Good Sleep, Even on Weekends

To avoid depression during the wintertime, you want to make sure you are getting enough sleep every night, and this includes even on the weekends. If you fail to get regular sleep, you will begin craving carbohydrates during the evening and nighttime, which means you will be eating junk food all night, and this alone will make you feel very depressed. You also want to have a regular bedtime because your body repairs and replenishes during the night when you sleep, which can help your body regulate and keep all of your hormones controlled correctly. Keeping a regular bedtime and getting enough sleep also makes you feel like you have energy and helps boost your metabolism during the day, which is very important if you are trying to avoid feeling depressed.

Drink Chamomile

chamomile-tea
During the winter, you want to begin drinking chamomile tea during the evening, which can help you relax and boost your mood. Chamomile has a very calming effect and it will make you feel less stressed and anxious, which is important during the winter due to the stress the holiday season brings. Avoiding depression during winter means that you are drinking products that will help boost your metabolism and mood, which means drinking a chamomile tea instead of drinking a glass of Mountain Dew. You want to make sure that you continue drinking Chamomile tea during the winter to continue feeling the positive benefits, especially since Chamomile tea contains high levels of anti­oxidants, which will boost your immune system as well.

Be Selfless

If you really want to avoid depression during the wintertime, you can do something simple such as being selfless, which means begin being a service to others. You might decide you want to volunteer at a local animal shelter or Soup Kitchen while you are off work or school for winter break. Giving back to society and being selfless is one of the best ways you can keep a positive attitude, even during the freeing temperatures. Being of service to others will make you feel happy and satisfied internally, because you will feel good about your ability to help those in need. This might also be something simple like shoveling the driveway of the older people within your neighborhood or maybe baking some walnut bread for your neighbors.
You might also want to take time out of your week and check in on the older folks you know in your area and call them to see if they need you to go to the store for them. Just simply being of service to others and giving back will help you feel like you are being of service, which gives you a purpose in life. Once you find that you have meaning in life and you are not just waking up and going to bed, you will find that it’s easier to stay positive, and you will be less likely to get into a depressive mental state.

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