We’ve gone through enough yearly transitions into the cold weather months to know that with the seasonal change can come feelings of sadness. Believe it or not, there is a medical term for this. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, is common in the gloomy fall and winter months and is accompanied by feelings of hopelessness. It is also more common in women than in men.
The fact is, as we lose hours of daylight, we tend to feel less energetic and more sluggish. But there are simple practices that, when built into your day-to-day life, can help boost your mood and fight those SAD feelings.
Here are some tips you can begin working into your routine now and continue through winter to make you happier.
Get out the door
Confining yourself to your home for half the year because of cold weather is no way to live. It’s important to take a few hours each day to bask in the light even if it’s limited. Exposure to natural light gets your serotonin levels up and naturally, makes you happier. Whether you go to the store, meet friends for coffee, or go out for lunch with loved ones, it gets you out into the world to socialize.
Doing something, even if it’s small, keeps your body and mind active instead of allowing you to become a vegetable at home in front of your television. Exposure to natural light gets your serotonin levels up and naturally, makes you happier.
We all know sleep is an important part of our lives. It helps our bodies and minds to recharge and allows us to live happy and healthy lives. Beyond just getting sleep, it’s important to ensure you’re getting a restful night’s sleep without tossing and turning, and waking up throughout the night.
To make sure you’re getting the full eight hours that you need, try updating your sleeping environment so you can wake up easier and be happier throughout your day.
If you have back pain, which is common over 50, try out a new mattress as your current one could be the cause of your issues. You should also turn off your television or avoid having one in your bedroom altogether. The flashing light given off can disrupt your sleep cycle. Instead opt for a night light if needed, or if you find yourself needing noise you may want to try a sound machine.
Having a self-care ritual is an easy way to fend off feelings of being sad. If you don’t already have a routine, there’s no better time to find something right for you! The Scandinavian concept of Hygge will give you more comfort and contentment during cold weather months.
Adopting a winter skin care regimen, for example, is one way to boost how you feel and look, since cold weather is known to be harsh on your skin.
You may also want to try meditating in a sacred space in your home to bring a sense of calm to your life. The important thing is to find what works best for you and makes you happy.
Keep Things Green
Introducing greenery to your home is an easy way to add life to your space. If you don’t have a green thumb, look for easy-to-care-for plants like succulents, ivy, and spider plants.
House plants reduce stress in your living space and will boost your mood. They also increase levels of oxygen and remove certain toxins from the air to improve its quality. If it’s gloomy outside, plants will give you something green and relaxing to look at.
Whether it’s with a family member, friend, or even your doctor, it’s important to have someone to talk to, especially when you start feeling sad. They can help you brainstorm ways to make you feel better. They care about you and your happiness, and you would do the same for them. A phone call or visit can make all the difference.
Do what makes you happy and don’t feel SAD
In the end, only you know what is best for you and what will truly make you happy. Don’t let the change in seasons or a decreasing amount of daylight negatively affect you. Being aware of both your environment and yourself will help you to combat SAD and bring you true happiness no matter the weather.