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7 Tips for Avoiding the Winter Blues

By: Georgia Schumacher

December 10, 2018

Has winter weather left you feeling dull and dreary? Often, cold weather can lull us into slowing down, staying indoors, and retreating inside ourselves. For some, this time of year can lead to seasonal affective disorder , a type of depression that should be treated by a mental health professional. Most of us, however, face a simpler case of the winter blues. By following a few quick tips, you can reduce your chances of catching these everyday winter blues.

Tips for Avoiding the Winter Blues

1. Increase Natural Light Intake

Find time in your day to get outside and soak up some natural light. Grab your coat and brave the weather for a walk around the block or to the nearest park. On warmer days, eat lunch or drink your coffee out in the sun.

2. Add More Movement and Exercise into Your Routine

By going for walks, you can cover tips 1 and 2. When the weather keeps you indoors, stop by the gym or workout at home—no weights or fancy equipment needed. Just watch guided yoga, Pilates, or body weight exercise videos online. If you prefer less structure, put on your favorite playlist and spend at least 20 minutes dancing the blues away.

3. Get Better Sleep

No matter what the season, aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep a night. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by sleeping in a dark, quiet room and following a set sleep schedule. This will help you to be more alert, productive, and happier during your waking hours.

4. Eat Healthy

When you resist the temptation to overindulge in sugary, unhealthy foods, you’ll approach your day with more energy and enthusiasm. Instead, make meals that are filling and high in protein so that you don’t find yourself cranky, hungry, and stuffing yourself full of fast food and snacks devoid of nutrition.

5. Spend Time Being Social

December is frequently highlighted by events with friends and family. Once those slow down, try to continue planning get-togethers. Meet friends for dinner, host game nights, or plan to work alongside a peer or classmate at a local coffee shop. To check off multiple items on this list, workout with friends or spend time with a group outdoors.

6. Embrace the Winter Weather

Complaining about the cold won’t make it go away. Look for things you like about winter instead, from wearing your favorite sweater to reading beside the fireplace. Maybe winter can inspire your creativity infashion, cooking, photography , or other creative areas of your life. Cold weather can also be the perfect opportunity to enjoy your favorite movie under a cozy blanket on the couch. Relax by yourself or invite friends over for popcorn and hot cocoa.

7. Volunteer

The joy of helping others is worth experiencing year-round, and it can also help pull you out of a slump when you need it. Choose something you enjoy doing and make volunteering a recurring activity. You’ll leave feeling happier, knowing that you’re doing your part to make your community a better place.

Bonus Tip: Pursue What You’re Passionate About

If you’re not doing what you love as a career, maybe it’s time to rethink your profession. Find a career that keeps you feeling excited, challenged, and motivated to do and be your very best. At The Art Institutes, our Culinary, Design, Fashion, and Media Arts degree programs can prepare you for a career doing what you love in the creative arts. Find the right program for you today.

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By: Georgia Schumacher

December 10, 2018