I'm blue (da ba dee)
There are a lot of factors working against us during the winter months. The days are shorter which means less available sunlight, we avoid the outdoors because COLD, we cancel plans with friends across campus due to a little inclement weather, and we tend to eat loads of carby delicious comfort foods in an attempt to make ourselves feel satisfied and whole.
The only cure seems to be more Netflix in a dark room and even more carby deliciousness, but the best way to feel better this winter is to do exactly the opposite of that lazy instinct. Here are 5 ways to beat the winter blues and get that smile back on your face:
1. Stay active
I think we all know that there’s someone else out there who once captured this sentiment so perfectly, it’s LITERALLY all we can think of when we hear the word “Endorphin”.
I defer to Miss Elle Woods:
2. Natural sunlight
One of the most obvious causes of our lack of motivation/general happiness this time of year is the decreased light available to us during the winter months. You could go all out and purchase an artificial light therapy solution or you could go the natural route. Try taking a walk outside on a bright winter morning or rearranging your dorm/apartment to take advantage of east-facing rooms. Stick your face out the window to soak up all of that almost-sun.
3. Eat healthily
What we eat (and when we eat!) has a great affect on your mood and energy. This is why you carbo load the night before a big game, or start the morning out with something protein-packed. Avoid refined and processed foods (think white breads, rice, and sugar) as they are totally devoid of any nutritional value and end up zapping your energy levels and affecting your mood. Try and stick to eating clean(ish) and incorporating more complex carbs like brown rice, veggies, whole wheat breads that’ll work to stabilize energy levels and make you overall more happy!
4. Take a trip
What came first, spring break or winter blues? Maybe migratory birds have it all figured out when they flock to the south for the winter. If you’re struggling to overcome the blahness of this season, it may be worth planning a trip to a warm, sunny place. Not only will it give you a healthy dose of sunshine, but having something to look forward to is truly half the battle. It doesn’t hurt that you can use your student discount at Hotels.com, right?
5. Avoid binge drinking
I don’t know about you, but every time I get carried away with my drinking, I inevitably do something very stupid that I regret and then I proceed to obsess over it for the next week or two, pledging: I’m never drinking again. If you’re someone who gets a little bit anxious or nervous about what you said or did when under the influence, save yourself the trouble. Most types of alcoholic beverages are also actually, technically, depressants so it’s smart to avoid lots of booze at once.
Disclaimer: We don’t mean to make light of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). We are definitely not doctors, so please don’t take any of these suggestions as bible. See a physician if you’re not feeling quite right this winter!