How to Beat the Winter Blues
Winter is officially here – which means it’s time for holiday celebrations, family gatherings, and seasonal activities that make the most out of the colder temperatures. While there is much to look forward to, some may find themselves facing fatigue and mood changes brought on by the shorter days and chillier weather. Not to worry, though, because we have some helpful tips and tricks to help you beat the Winter Blues and get the most out of the season!
What Causes the Winter Blues?
Many Americans are still adjusting to the fall back time change by the time winter rolls around, which means shorter days marked by fewer hours of sunlight. This, coupled with colder weather that often limits the time spent outdoors, can have a negative impact on mood and disrupt our sleep cycles – leading to what we know as the Winter Blues. After all, natural sunlight and time spent outdoors are natural mood enhancers that also help us sleep better at night. It’s important to remember that these are normal reactions to seasonal changes that can be managed with some small changes to your daily routine like our recommendations below:
1) Stick To Your Sleep Schedule & Routine
The quality of our sleep can have a significant impact on our mood the following day, so it’s important to stick to your usual bedtime and pre-bedtime routines and aim to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. We love a good nighttime ritual that signals to the brain that it’s time for sleep, such as a warm bath, listening to a bedtime playlist, or sipping some herbal tea. Then, it’s important to get exposure to natural light as soon as you wake up to get your body’s internal clock adjusted to the new season.
2) Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
Winter is “comfort food” season, which means it’s the time when we start to crave richer, heavier foods in response to the colder temps. While it’s always okay to indulge now and then, it’s important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet that consists mostly of lean proteins, fruits, veggies, and whole grains during the winter. Not only will this help keep you on track with your health and wellness goals, it will also help you feel energized which in turn has a positive effect on your mood during the day. And when your winter sweet tooth comes around, you can reach for our EVER BETTER Protein Cookie Bites to indulge the craving without any of the guilt!
3) Spend Some Time Outside
There’s nothing quite like sunlight and fresh air to naturally boost your mood! When temperatures drop in the winter, it can be difficult to spend as much time outdoors as you’d like. Even so, sunlight will help your body’s internal clock and promote an improved mood – so even just a 10-15 minute walk can work wonders. If it’s simply too cold to be outdoors, try an alternative such as sitting near a window with sunlight for 1-2 hours.
4) Make Plans With Loved Ones
Looking forward to plans with friends and family is a great way to boost your mood during the winter! While many continue to practice social distancing, there are a variety of activities you can plan to stay connected while staying safe including virtual happy hours, family movie night (invite your non-immediate family members to watch along from their homes and group text during the movie), or even just a quiet dinner at home with your significant other are great options.
5) Keep Moving
It’s typical for motivation levels to decrease in the winter, which means you may feel tempted to skip your daily workouts. Even when it’s tough to find motivation, it’s important to keep moving daily! If you typically exercise outdoors but can’t stand the cold, look for alternate routines that can be done inside and at home. Need a little inspiration? Right now you can get free access to Denise Austin’s EVER BETTER™ Fitness Program which includes free and fun at-home workouts that will help keep you on track!
Now, you can kick the Winter Blues to the curb and get the most out of the season with these simple tips. And, with healthy and delicious snacking options like our EVER BETTER™ Protein Bites, you can indulge your sweet winter cravings while staying on track with your goals.
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