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4 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues and Depression

Updated: Jun 21, 2023

As we're approaching the winter season, it can be a difficult time for many people, with feelings of sadness, low energy levels, and even depression becoming more common. But there are ways to prevent the "Winter Blues" and depression from taking hold of your life and dominating your mood for the next three months. This article will provide tips on how to stay motivated and positive throughout the colder months.

4 ways to beat the winter blues and depression - by melbourne psychologists at the inner collective

First, engaging in outdoor activities is an effective way to keep the winter blues at bay.

Spending time outdoors during the winter months has been found to boost mood and wellbeing.

Not only does it allow you to reap the benefits of natural light, but it also helps break up sedentary behaviour which can lead to further feelings of fatigue or depression.

Activities like going to the winter markets in your area, exploring neighbouring suburbs or country towns, hiking and even walking with a cup of hot chai are good choices that can help ward off any gloominess associated with the season.

Second, exercise is another important factor in preventing the winter blues and depression. Working out regularly releases endorphins which are known as “feel-good” hormones that strengthen immunity and give a sense of euphoria while reducing stress and anxiety. Exercise can also have a positive effect on energy levels throughout the day by increasing your metabolism and helping you get a better night's sleep. Incorporating just 30 minutes of physical activity into your daily schedule three times a week is enough to make a difference in mood during colder weather months.

Third, getting enough sunlight exposure is essential for keeping a healthy mindset throughout the year but especially in winter when days are shorter and natural light is less abundant than usual. Sunlight helps regulate our circadian rhythm which governs our sleep cycle making sure we get enough restorative rest each night as well as maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Additionally, sunlight provides us with Vitamin D which has been linked to decreased symptoms of depression such as low moods or lack of interest in activities that once gave pleasure. It's helpful to get your Vitamin D levels checked by your doctor if your schedule doesn't allow much outdoor activity. If you love in a cold and cloudy climate during winter, you may need extra Vitamin D supplementation. When possible try to get outside for at least 15-20 minutes each day making sure to wear sunscreen if sunshine is strong in your winter location

Finally, developing healthy relationships with friends and family can be beneficial in fighting off seasonal depression or sadness during the winter months. Social support systems can serve as protective factors against negative emotions due to feelings of isolation or loneliness that may be associated with seasonal changes in daylight hours or temperature fluctuations (known as Seasonal Affective Disorder). Connecting with loved ones through face-to-face conversations or virtual gatherings like Zoom calls or FaceTime sessions can help fill emotional needs by providing much needed connection during times when outdoor activities may not be an option due to unfavourable weather.

By following these four tips on how to prevent the winter blues – engaging in outdoor activities, exercising regularly, getting enough sunlight exposure and maintaining healthy relationships – you will have greater control over how you feel during this often difficult season filled with cooler temperatures, darker days and reduced natural light sources! So take steps now towards having a brighter tomorrow filled with vibrancy despite what nature throws your way this coming winter!

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