Simple Ways to Boost Your Mood During the Winter

When the days get shorter and the temperatures drop, you might start to feel a little gloomy. You’re not alone—in fact, this phenomenon is referred to as “seasonal affective disorder,” or, fittingly, SAD. Instead of just suffering through it until spring, try some of these tricks to improve your mood.

  1. Plan regular nights out with friends. When you’re feeling down, your gut instinct might be to hibernate at home. Fight that instinct and plan a night out with your friends—or at least invite them over to socialize with you. It’s only natural that you’ll start feeling better when you’re surrounded by people you love.

  2. Get your sweat on. Exercising releases endorphins, chemicals that instantly lift your spirits. So it’s important to work out year-round, but especially during the winter months. The only problem is outdoor workouts become tougher when it’s cold! If you can’t bring yourself to bundle up for your usual workout, try taking a new fitness class or joining a yoga studio nearby to keep yourself active.

  3. Make your own sunshine. Sunshine naturally triggers a happy response in the brain, so it makes sense you’d feel blue when it’s in short supply. The good news is lamps can now emulate the sun’s rays pretty closely and provide the same mood-enhancing effects. Add a natural light lamp to your home office to boost your mood and productivity.

  4. Eat a balanced diet. Wintry temps also make you want to indulge in comfort food, which could be another part of the problem. Try to stick to a healthy, balanced diet of lean proteins, antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, and inflammation-fighting omega-3s. The fuel you put into your body has a major impact on how you feel, whether you realize it or not.

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