Brighten Up the Winter Blues :: Seasonal Affective Disorder


For many of us, shorter daylight hours and cooler temps can lead to a case of the winter blues or even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). But we don’t just have to accept feeling down every winter. There are some easy things you can do to lift your spirits and make those winter blues a thing of the past.

1. Light Therapy

Light therapy lamps are specifically made to help with SAD and winter blues. They’re widely available online. They mimic sunlight and can help regulate your circadian rhythms. This means they can help you feel more energized and focused during the day and help you sleep better at night. I use my light therapy lamp as part of my daily routine on winter mornings. I’ll turn it on for 20-30 minutes or so while I sit to read and drink my coffee or meal plan for the week. If I don’t have time to sit, I’ll set it by the kitchen sink while I do dishes or on top of the dryer while I fold laundry.

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2. Vitamin D

This one is so easy. In the winter, I simply add a vitamin D supplement to my usual vitamin routine. When we’re getting less sun, we can sometimes develop a vitamin D deficiency. It’s very easy to supplement with a quick trip to the vitamin aisle at any grocery store or pharmacy.

Brighten Up the Winter Blues3. Get Outside

I like to prioritize going outside for at least 20 minutes or so at the warmest part of the day. For me, this translates to a dog walk or some play time at the park with my kids after school. If I can, I make it a point to roll up my sleeves and let the sun touch my skin. Fresh air and sunshine can make a world of difference in the way you feel.

4. Exercise

The most important thing to consider when you think about adding exercise to your routine is what you enjoy and what you will actually do. There is no one right way to exercise. Just find a way that you love to move your body and do more of that. Last winter, I found that hot yoga was a great way for me to melt away my own winter blues. I looked forward to the hot room and the break it provided from the cold. But you may find joy in dance, walking, weight lifting, a group fitness class, or a group like ABQ Fit Moms that motivates and excites you. Whatever it is . . . just get up and move. You’ll be glad you did.

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5. Talk to Your Doctor

Sometimes, it’s more than just winter blues and more than we can handle on our own. If you are really struggling to find motivation or joy in the things that usually make you happy, talk to your doctor.

Hope you find these tips helpful as we navigate several more months of winter!

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.


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