If you are finding the winter days and weeks super long, you are definitely not alone! When it's cold and dark out, it might feel like it's a momentous effort to drag yourself out of bed and do pretty much anything. Maybe your energy level is non-existent, and your mood varies between snappy, snarky, and sad. If this sounds familiar, while you ride out the winter and wait for spring, there are a few things that you can try to naturally support your mood and mental health.
Plan things to look forward to. Whether this is a weekly class, a date with a friend, or a weekend away, having little events to look forward to brings hope for brighter days and inspires optimism and resilience.
Get outside anyway. Fresh air has a wonderful effect on your energy level, and there is a ton of research on the benefits of spending time in nature on your mood, health, and overall wellbeing. So wrap yourself up in warm layers, throw on your favourite toque, grab an umbrella and venture into the great outdoors even when it's cold or wet. Even opening a window or stepping outside for a few minutes and taking some deep breaths might perk up your mood or energy.
Give your body what it needs. If you are craving warmth, get cozy wrapped up in a blanket with your fuzzy slippers. Make sure to nourish your body with warm, nutritious meals that will make your insides sing. Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about supplements that can boost mood, for example, vitamin D is not called the Sunshine Vitamin for nothing. And it's okay to sleep a little more in the winter, just like the hibernating bears.
Laughter is the best medicine, so connect with someone who puts a smile on your face. Social support is one of the most potent healing forces, so making plans with friends, seeing family, talking to a therapist, joining a support group, or even chatting with a neighbour can boost mood and banish those winter feelings of being isolated at home.
And if counting down the days until spring is your thing and gives your hope for brighter days, do that too. What others ways do you like to support your mood through the winter months?
Read more about the benefits of nature on mental health here: