Conquering the Winter Blues

Conquering the Winter Blues


Winter brings shorter days, frosty weather, and diminished sunshine. With this season now in full swing, have you noticed a change in your mood and energy level?  You may be experiencing SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  As the temperature drops and the sun’s light seems to be on a permanent “dim” setting, you may find yourself depressed, tired, and irritable.


To many people, the “winter blues” may seem fleeting or inconsequential. However, if left unattended, the effects can evolve into a greater issue that carries over into various areas of your life.  Job performance and productivity, relationships, and overall health all have the potential to suffer when SAD is left unaddressed.  

SAD is a common side effect of winter weather for many people, most of which also experience correlating shifts in their exercise routines and eating habits.  One major component of the lethargy you may experience is due to diminished daylight hours. As the days become shorter, your sleep and waking cycles become disrupted, causing you to feel greater fatigue.


So how do you beat the winter blues? There are several tools that when implemented and combined can enhance your mood and boost your energy level:



To beat winter woes, spend at least some time outdoors every day or sit near a window when the weather is particularly chilly. TWEET THIS

Exercise Developing a regular exercise routine is great for relieving stress and maintaining a healthy weight.  Additionally, exercise releases endorphins that can last several hours post workout. The result?  Increased energy and an improved mood throughout the day.


Eat a Healthy Diet Proper nutrition is essential for your physical and mental wellbeing. When you fuel your body properly it will perform better.  To combat fatigue and increase energy, incorporate plenty of fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates into your diet. Avoid refined and processed foods devoid of the nutrients your body craves. Opting for nutrient rich foods will nourish your body and stabilize your energy levels.


Soak up Some Sun Winter days are shorter, colder, and darker than other months of the year. These conditions often cause fewer people to spend time outdoors, resulting in a lack of Vitamin D.  Much like exercise, this sunshine vitamin can greatly improve your mood.  A deficiency in Vitamin D can cause fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and other health issues.


Get Sufficient Rest Although it may feel natural to clock more hours of sleep when the weather is colder, a “hibernation” approach to sleeping may the very thing that’s making you tired. If you allow your body too much rest, you increase your likelihood of feeling more sluggish throughout the day. Try to stick to a routine 8 hours of sleep each night to optimize your energy level.


It is common for many to feel a decrease in their mood and vitality as they settle into the colder, darker months of winter.  If you feel you are manifesting any of these symptoms, try implementing the tips listed above. You may be able to roll out of bed a little more quickly and greet the day with more optimism and motivation. ■