Feeling low energy and less motivated in the winter? You’re not alone! The lack of sunlight and long days can leave many of us feeling down. But don’t let the winter blues get you down. Here are some expert tips on how to boost your mood and beat the winter blues:
- Get a Morning Light Fix
Lack of exposure to natural sunlight is a major contributor to feelings of low mood in the winter. One solution is to spend time outside in the morning to take advantage of the available light, but an even more effective solution is to use a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) lamp. These lamps can help improve mood, concentration, and energy levels. You don’t have to have SAD to benefit from these lights. I use the Lumie Vitamin L light on my desk each day, when checking my morning emails.
2. Be with Nature
Nature is incredibly powerful in boosting our moods. Studies have shown that spending time in nature first thing in the morning can boost your mood for up to seven hours later. Engaging in outdoor activities such as walking, running, or gardening can greatly improve your overall well-being throughout the day. If you can’t physically get outdoors, you can still benefit from the mood-boosting effects of nature by listening to audio nature sounds.
3. Feed your Gut
Gut health and brain health are closely related. A study conducted by the BBC two years ago found that taking probiotics can increase mood by 50%. The probiotics seen in the documentary were ‘Bio-Kult Everyday’.
It’s important to note that the effects of probiotics on mood are not immediate, it takes time for probiotics to take effect and for them to become established within the body.
4. Listen to a Mood Boosting Playlist
Music can help to shift our emotions and make us feel more upbeat, especially when listening to positive songs that are connected to positive memories and experiences. Create a playlist of songs that make you feel energized and positive, and listen to it in the morning.
5. Keep Connected
It can be tempting to stay inside and avoid social interaction when it’s cold or you are feeling unmotivated, but connecting with others can greatly improve our moods. Scheduling social activities and making an effort to engage in activities, as we would in the summer, can really boost our mood.
6. Move your Body
Exercise is known to boost mood and improve overall well-being. Combining exercise with spending time outdoors in the morning can be especially beneficial. The most important thing is to find an activity that is enjoyable and to make a consistent effort to engage in it.
7. Eat the Food that Boosts your Mood
Eating the right foods can greatly impact our mood. Eating foods with a slow release of glucose can help keep our energy levels balanced, which can help keep our mood more stable.
8. Take Cold Water Dips
The benefits of cold water dips include increased endorphins, reduced stress, increased energy, better sleep and increased mental clarity (please ensure you do not dip alone in cold water, start slowly and take proper precautions).
9. Listen to Positive Affirmations
Listening to positive affirmations before bed can be a powerful tool for personal growth and mood improvement. To use affirmations effectively, identify areas in your life where you are feeling challenged and find positive affirmations related to those areas.
I have found this method to be effective for myself and some of my clients, particularly when we are feeling low and struggling to shift into a positive mindset. Additionally, many find it soothing to listen to affirmations to help them fall asleep.
1o. Have a Mood-Boosting Morning Routine
Wake up at the same time every day, plan ahead, hydrate, move your body, listen to inspiring music, eat a healthy breakfast, practice mindfulness, prioritise important tasks and reflect regularly.
These are just a few tips to help boost your mood and beat the winter blues. Remember to find what works for you and make it a consistent part of your daily routine.
It’s important to note that these are general guidelines and not a substitute for professional help. If you are experiencing a mood disorder, it’s important to seek professional help.