As native Minnesotans, you'd think we'd be impervious to the "winter blues". Like a secret code implanted in our DNA. But like millions of Americans, these dark winter months can send us running for cover(s). After all, burrowing under a pile of down comforters for a movie night sounds much more appealing than bundling up for dinner out with friends.
Fortunately, here are 8 simple ways to get a little pep back into our (frozen) step.
1. Soak up the morning sunshine. Like us, the sun rises a little later in the winter. But when it does, throw open the curtains to get exposure to natural light right as your body is waking up.
2. Get Outside. Studies confirm spending time outside - even just five minutes - can relieve stress. The fresh, cold air and natural light are great ways to improve your mood and energy levels. For some, it’s even been proven as effective as therapy and anti-depressants.
3. Take Vitamin D. Spending time outside, taking a vitamin D supplement or eating foods high in this nutrient can help offset the effects of less sunlight.
4. Maintain your routine. Or develop wintertime interests. Having fun is central to having a good mood. So don’t neglect your favorite hobbies just because winter spurs on a desire to hibernate. Or, find a new hobby like snowshoeing, try a new fitness class, bust out those ice skates, or create your own test kitchen.
5. Ditch sugar. It’s hard to hear, we know, but research shows that sugar has a negative effect on our mental health. Scientists hypothesize that it hinders the body’s ability to cope with stress and may worsen anxiety. So try to limit the sweet treats and opt for complete meals with good sources of protein and fiber.
6. Embrace Light Therapy. Studies show that light therapy can make a real different in your mood after just a few days. There are many artificial sunlight devices available today, so we encourage you to do a bit of research and talk to your doctor about which light is best for you.
7. Book a trip. A little mid-winter getaway can do wonders for your mood and mental health. In fact, studies show that even the anticipation of a trip can offer a nice mood boost!
8. Try Aromatherapy and CBD. Certain aromatherapy scents have been found to uplift moods and provide a sense of calm. A few favorites include lavender, chamomile, rosemary and citrus oils. Blend it with CBD, which has been shown to help ease anxiety and depression, for an effective combination. Try our Rest Aromatherapy Roll-On.