Trees are bare, snow blankets the ground, and getting out of bed is an insufferable task. That’s right; it’s winter. Before you moan and groan, here’s a thought: Why not embrace it? Moreover, you should enjoy the drab and snowy months as much as the warm and bright ones — for our Florida residents, carry on with your sunshine. The only difference is it takes a bit more effort this time of year. Falling into a seasonal rut is expected in the winter, so anticipate it and do something about it. To get you started, here are six ways to beat the winter blues.
“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” – Anton Chekhov.
A look back on history, and you’ll find that many ancient civilizations celebrated the winter solstice. Why? Because they saw it as the beginning of a rebirth. For instance, the darkest day is behind us, and as the days grow in length, nature will slowly shake out of its slumber. Germanic and Scandanavian people celebrated winter with a 12-day festival referred to as “Yule.” Also, it’s this time of the year that ancient Romans honored their god Saturn. Yes, they even gave each other presents. So take a page out of history and celebrate this reawakening, no matter how slowly it transpires.
Here are five ways to beat the winter blues!
According to Mental Floss, “Solstice derives from the Latin scientific term solstitium, containing sol, which means “sun,” and the past participle stem of sistere, meaning “to make stand.” So while the sun may stand still, there’s no reason you have to do the same.
As you may know, exercise releases serotonin and dopamine, which makes us feel good. And since this is an article about beating the winter blues, any activity that releases such chemicals is more than welcome.
While the cold weather may deter you from stepping outside, you can still stay active in a gym or the comfort of your apartment. For example, you won’t need much space to set down a yoga mat. Thanks to YouTube, finding fun workouts to do at home has never been easier.
Surprisingly, winter is an efficient time for exercising outdoors. Since your body doesn’t have to deal with hot air and sunshine, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, and you’ll sweat less. Further, Harvard Health reports that cold weather may turn white fat into brown fat, which burns calories. So if you decide to exercise outside, make sure you wear proper clothes and running shoes designed for winter weather. Oh, and don’t forget to wear gloves!
Remember to laugh and laugh often
If that didn’t make you laugh, then nothing will. Okay, there are myriad things funnier than that dad joke, but you get the idea. Many of us focus on the gloom of winter and forget to smile and laugh. Who doesn’t feel better after a series of good belly chuckles? Whether you call up a funny friend, watch some stand-up on Netflix, or embrace the goofiness of your pet, allow yourself to laugh; laugh so hard you fall on the ground.
Without further ado, another cringe-worthy winter dad joke:
Wait, do “icy” you laughing at our joke? Good.
In winter’s icy wind blows the start of a New Year, and with it comes commitments to try new diets. Look, you can get swept up in the latest diet, or you can just eat healthier.
Due to the cold weather and gray skies, winter entices even the best of us to reach for comfort food. But after the holidays and one eggnog too many, you might want to rethink your snacks. Give your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and warm with plenty of veggies, fruits, whole grains, and healthy proteins. Processed sugar offers a false sense of comfort in the winter, and you’ll feel better if you reach for an apple instead of that cookie.
Thankfully, winter brings a whole new crop of superfoods to eat. From sweet potatoes to citrus fruits, purchase items that are in season. Not only will you give your body a boost of nutrients, but you’ll save money.
Finally, make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D!
Get smart about staying warm
Before you roll your eyes at a “stay warm” suggestion, hear us out. Of course, you have your sweaters, coats, scarves, and gloves, but there’s more to staying warm than just what you wear. Moreover, like many of our struggles, much of the issue is all in our heads. Think about it this way: why does 50-degree weather feel so much colder in October than in April? It’s all a state of mind. Beat the winter blues with warm thoughts. Try it! Recall a cherished memory you have of the wintertime. If such a memory is shrouded in nostalgia, then odds are it will make you feel warm and cozy.
If warm memories aren’t doing the trick, sip a hot beverage. Whether it’s coffee or tea, keeping a thermos with something warm on had will help thaw the most chilling of days.
Of course, you can up your clothing game with longjohns under your pants. Oh, and don’t forget to try hand warmers in your gloves. Here’s a list of more ways to trick your body into feeling warmer.
Taking all necessary efforts to stay warm might allow you to skim a degree or two off of your heat, which will save you some money. Check out our list of how to winterize your apartment.
Learn about nature
Most of us only see winter through society’s lens. For instance, we think of winter as inconvenient because driving is difficult, we can’t sit by the pool, and we are stuck inside. But on a more macro-level, winter serves a valuable purpose in sustaining life on this planet. Winter gives many plants and wildlife time to prepare for the next season.
The more you learn about winter, the more appreciation you will have for it.
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” – John Steinbeck
If you tried all of these ways to beat the winter blues and you still find yourself cursing the cold, may we suggest moving to one of our McKinley Florida apartments. After all, the mean maximum monthly snowfall in the majority of Florida is zero.