The Winter Blues are most definitely a thing! And every year so many of us go through a stage of laziness, lower mood and unproductiveness. Have you ever heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? It's an illness apparently caused by lack of sunlight that affects around 3% of us during the winter months. Basically, lack of sun in wintertime can make us feel groggy and a little down, so I've done some research to help get you back on track.
Plan A Trip
Having something on the horizon to look forward to is super beneficial for mental health. I'm not talking about the hopes and dreams you have for yourself that could be ten years away, but the little moments to look forward to. Planning a trip such as a few days away with the gals or a weekend's road trip (highly recommend) could be vital to getting you out of those winter blues. Plans don't have to be costly; it could merely be a hike in a national park or girl's night at home. The power of anticipation is a great way to improve your overall appreciation for life. But remember: "anticipation is positive when you saver making plans without losing track of what's going on in the present" - Tessa Blake, medium.com.
Get Some of that Crisp Winter, Fresh Air
Research shows that being outside in nature increases your overall energy, boots your Hauora (well-being), and reduces depression. Especially on a chilly morning when you aren't stoked about getting out of bed or leaving the comforts of your PJs and uggs. Getting some fresh air to start your day is so good for improving optimism and mental clarity. A brisk walk around your local park, taking in the beauty of your surroundings, or a stroll along the beach are some great ways to get you out of that winter groove. You'll be surprised how much more positive your feel after just 30 minutes out of the house.
Get your 8 hours!
Sleep is one of the most critical processes we go through to regenerate our brains and our bodies. It is a fact that getting enough sleep puts you in a better mood. Lack of sleep makes us agitated and grumpy, which is not fun for anyone. According to Matthew Walker, a leading sleep scientist, getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night increases your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Not only this, but people who are sleep deprived are lonelier; they tend to avoid social interactions. On the upside, getting the recommended 7-9 hours sleep per night increases your mental clarity, elevates mood and makes you look younger. Getting enough sleep every night will make you feel 100% better.
Make a To-Do List
When you write down your plans, goals and to-dos, you're making a pact with yourself to be productive and get stuff done. Big YES. To-do lists are the easiest way to be pro-active, increase your creativity, and for decreasing any anxiety. Getting it all down on paper is excellent for the mind as you're decluttering your headspace. Once you've achieved something and you've ticked it off your list, you'll experience a great feeling of increased self-esteem and a sense of purpose.
Okay, so mediation might seem a little difficult and even farfetched for some, but I promise you, the rewards are so worth it. It can be hard to comprehend what meditation is or know where to start - but no worries because there are lots of apps that can help you with this. Calm, Insight Timer or Headspace are some great apps to get you started. These apps are the best place to start because they offer guided meditations for beginners and people with experience with mediation. With a little help, you'll be reaping the rewards of a decluttered mind and have decreased anxiety in no time. Meditation can also benefit by improving awareness, and help with the quality of sleep, which is vital to keep you in that positive headspace during the winter months.