Ideas to Alleviate the Winter Blues

Well it is the beginning of 2017, and right now the weather outside is frightful. For those of us that can’t wait for spring, we have put together a couple of things that everyone can try to get past the winter blues. The next eleven ideas can help make your winter a brighter color instead of the many shades of blue!

1.) Practice eating smarter

Here are three ways to start.

Avoid candy and carbohydrates.

Limit Caffeine intake

Try mood lifting foods

Foods that are good to lift moods include: Oats, spinach, fish, lentils, coconut, bananas and of course, Chocolate. I read an article called Foods to boost your mood naturally. We liked it because we found that we were already eating most of the foods on the list.

I stay away from most caffeine, but I do drink a lot of both caffeinated and caffeine free tea (teas, as it turns out, also helps to boost your mood). But, I hope my intake is still much lower than the average person.

Saffron is a spice that can help with mood enhancement. I looked in our spice drawer and could not find it. My husband said it was a little expensive for our food budget, so we do not have any. But with all the other options that we have in the food area, I think we are doing pretty good!

2.) Go Outside

With exercising outside you have the advantage of being in natural light. Natural light is a mood enhancer. Being outside will make you feel much better. Also breathing in fresh air can chase your blues away. If there is a park nearby in your neighborhood, it is a great place to walk.

Take your canine companion outside. Walking and playing with your dog is a no brainer. Of course this will make you feel better. Isn’t just about everything better with your dog!

3.) Get moving and Exercise

As mentioned in an earlier post this year about New Year Resolutions, one of my goals is to exercise daily. A great side effect of daily activity is a better overall mood. Feeling more energized helps some individuals chase off the blues. I walk/jog around our RV in a large oval pattern daily. Where we are as of now, I am privileged to see a 180 degree view of mountains that look close enough to touch (But they are at least 3 miles away). Even when it is colder outside I look forward to getting outside and seeing the surrounding mountains.

4.) Stay Social and Connected

I have heard that going out and getting together with friends have a positive affect on mood. This is great if you are living close to friends and family. I am a couple states away from everyone I know, and I am just making new friends, so to stay social and connected (other than text messaging) I am writing letters. Completely old school (pen and paper). This is how I’m staying social and connected. Hearing about how the people I do not get to see everyday is doing will definitely keep me cheered.

5.) Take up a hobby

There are several cheap and fun hobbies available for all to take on in the winter months. So many to choose from, and all of them can help you take on the winter blues. The following are just a few to help you narrow down the field.

Painting

Reading

Drawing

Dancing

Cooking

Volunteering

I dance (much to my husbands dismay) almost anytime I hear music. I can’t help it. I want to move! Dancing has been shown to not only boost your mood but also has shown good mental health improvements.

One of my goals for 2017 is to increase the number of books I read this year. I’m starting out conservative, but when it’s cold outside reading is a great way to not only get away but help keep the blues away.

Volunteering helps to improve mood, because helping others makes us feel better. Today there are so many places and reasons to volunteer that it is easier than ever to get out there. It will get you out of your house. Find what speaks to your heart. What makes you want to give your time and knowledge? Volunteering can be a great experience for those who choose to.

Any of the other ideas can lift moods in the winter season. See which speaks to you. You may find that you love your new hobby!