Winter is coming, even for us on the Costal del Sol who are lucky enough to have on average 320 days of sun a year, however even with all these sunny days we can still be affected by the winter blues…..
Do you feel sad when the winter days arrive? Or do you experience SAD? If you haven’t heard of it, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affects those living in the northern latitudes, where the sun takes a vacation during the winter, so people start feeling blue as the seasons start to change.
In the winter, we kind of start feeling the first indications that things are about to get colder and darker, so we need to put up some extra effort in order to keep our mood and energy up. We all definitely feel the effects of winter, an even the most positive minds experience a feeling of heaviness and need to sleep a bit longer in the morning.
You shouldn’t worry if you are feeling somewhat different than you did a couple of months ago. It’s completely normal, and we have compiled a list of tips that can help you cope with winter blues.
#1 Get As Much Sunlight As You Can
Light is about 500-1000 times brighter outside than it is in your home or office, even on an overcast day. As the days keep getting shorter, becoming an early riser will slowly become the only way to maximize sunlight absorption. Lack of sunlight can leave you feeling tired and depressed, and can trigger seasonal affective disorder.
We can battle this lack of sunlight by going outside for half an hour when daylight is strongest – between 6AM and 10AM. We need to get enough sunlight, because it really is the fountain of energy. Lift your mood and boost your motivation by spending some time outside.
#2 Have Enough Sleep
I don’t think that I should go deep into explaining the importance of sleep for our overall health and well-being. It is common to crave more sleep and wake up exhausted in the winter. The levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) are on the increase, because of those longer hours of darkness, so you feel restless at night and sleepy during the day. Filling up on coffee to stay alert in the morning is how we try to override our natural wake/sleep cycle, but we just make the problem worse. The solution is sticking to a routine sleep cycle. Get up and go to bed at the same time each day.
#3 Keep Working Out
Yes, yes, I know, there’s something extremely pleasing in sitting in front of the TV or laptop, watching your favorite show under a warm blanket. A cup of tea in one hand, the remote in the other, some comfort food on the coffee table, while the coldness waits on the other side of your living-room window to bite your cheeks. Once summer is over, many people stop going to the gym, but that’s exactly the time when you need to dig out that extra motivation. We all know that exercise boosts our mood, and an early workout can increase your energy levels and give you an endorphin “fix” for the rest of the day. Make sure you stay motivated to work out during the winter, or practice some yoga at least 3 times a week, first thing in the morning. If you don’t feel like getting sweaty, perhaps it’s the right time to start practicing yoga.
There are numerous things that can lift your mood and motivate you during these grayer days of winter, even though they don’t seem to be doing the trick at first. Burn a disc with your favorite songs to play in the morning and dance for 20 minutes after your morning cup of coffee or tea. Treat yourself with a meal that’s not on your weekly menu. Read, learn and upgrade your knowledge, because winter is the time when seeds in our minds are planted, just like with plants in nature. The summer is reserved for blossoming, and you’ll feel satisfied after reading just 5 pages of a good book every day. Remember that sunshine is already on its way, especially for those lucky enough to living on the Costa del Sol.