If your ideal winter day involves sitting on the sofa with a blanket, endless hot chocolate and Netflix, you’re not alone. Keeping warm and cosy and home can bring you short-term joy, but it can quietly catch up with you and put a damper on your mood. Fresh air, sunshine and interacting with others – no matter how big or small – are just a few simple ways you can help keep those negative feelings at bay.
Here are three ways you can beat the winter blues:
Chase the sun
The sun doesn’t disappear completely during winter – it’s just not around for as long as it is in the warmer months. Sunlight triggers your brain to release the happy hormone called serotonin, which can boost your mood. So, slip, slop, slap and spend some time outside in the sun. It could be as simple as sitting down to read a book and eat your lunch, or you could hang out the washing or do some gardening. If you’d rather stay inside, or perhaps you’re working from home, open the blinds to let the light in and sit by the window to let it hit your body.
Catch up with a friend
Whether it’s virtually over FaceTime or walking to meet your friend at a local coffee shop, social interaction plays a role in how you feel overall. Feeling connected to friends and family is scientifically proven to help treat symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mood orders. Even if you’re not feeling it, a quick phone call is all you need to do to make a difference.
Change your scenery
A change of scenery can re-energise you. We’re never not close to a park, forest or reserve whether it’s in our local area or a short car ride away. So, carve 30-60 minutes out of your day, queue up a podcast about mindfulness or your favourite music playlist and go and enjoy some time walking or sitting in the great Australian outdoors.
At Mood Active, we help people experiencing mild to moderate depression, anxiety and other mood disorders – such as Bipolar, PTSD, SAD and more – get back on their feet through exercise. Our aim is to offer affordable exercise programs and we provide the extra outreach, coaching support and supervision needed when people are struggling with their motivation. Contact us if you’d like to learn more.