coldWe’ve gone through enough yearly transitions into the cold weather months to know that with the seasonal change can come feelings of sadness. Believe it or not, there is a medical term for this. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, is common in the gloomy fall and winter months and is accompanied by feelings of hopelessness. It is also more common in women than in men.
The fact is, as we lose hours of daylight, we tend to feel less energetic and more sluggish. But there are simple practices that, when built into your day-to-day life, can help boost your mood and fight those blue feelings.
Here are some tips you can begin working into your routine now and continue through winter to make you happier.
Confining yourself to your home for half the year because of cold weather is no way to live. It’s important to take a few hours each day to bask in the (limited) light. Whether you go to the store, meet friends for coffee or go out for lunch with loved ones, it’s essential to have something to do.
Doing something, even if it’s small, keeps your body and mind active instead of allowing you to become a vegetable at home in front of your television. Socialization of some form and exposure to natural light, even if it’s limited due to cloudy skies, gets your serotonin levels up and naturally makes you happier.
Get Restful Sleep
We all know sleep is an important part of our lives. It helps our bodies and minds to recharge and allows us to live happy and healthy lives. Beyond just getting sleep, it’s extremely important to ensure you’re getting a restful night’s slumber every night. This means no tossing and turning, and no waking up throughout the night.
To make sure you’re getting the full eight hours that you need, try updating your sleeping environment so you can wake up easier and be happier throughout your day. If you have back pain, which is common in your 50s and beyond, try out a new mattress as your current one could be the root cause of many of your issues. You should also turn off your television or avoid having one in your bedroom all together. The flashing light given off can disrupt your sleep cycle. Instead opt for a night light if needed, or if you find yourself needing noise you may want to try a sound machine.
Having and making use of a self-care routine is an easy way to fend off feelings of sadness. If you don’t already have a routine, there’s no better time to find something right for you! For those who have a routine, you can also add onto it for increased feelings of contentment during cold weather months.
Adopting a winter skin care regimen, for example, is one way to boost how you feel and look, since cold weather is known to be harsh on your skin. You could also start meditating throughout the day to bring a sense of calm to your life. The important thing is to look for things that will work for you and make you happy.
Keep Things Green
Introducing greenery to your home is an easy way to add life to your space. If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, look for easy to care for options like succulents, ivy, and spider plants.
House plants are proven to reduce levels of stress in your living space and boost your mood. They also increase levels of oxygen and remove certain toxins from the air to improve its quality. Plus they give you something green to look at when it’s gloomy outside. There are so many benefits to adding a few plants to your home!
Whether it’s with a family member, friend or even your doctor, it’s important to have someone to talk to, especially when you start feeling sad. They can help you brainstorm ways to make you happier, plus just talking about your feelings and getting them out in the open can help.
Don’t let their schedules or your pride get in the way. Remember, they care about you and your happiness, and you would be there for them too. Sometimes a phone call or visit can make all the difference.
Do what makes you happy and don’t feel SAD
In the end, only you know what is best for you and what will truly make you happy. Don’t let the change in seasons and a decreasing amount of daylight negatively affect you. Being aware of both your environment and yourself will help you to combat SAD and bring you true happiness no matter the weather.