BEATING THE WINTER BLUES
Emotional Health Editor
Maureen Pollard, MSW, RSW is a registered social worker with a private practice in Cobourg, Ontario. Visit her online at: maureenpollardmsw.com
It’s natural to feel a shift in your energy and mood as winter settles upon us. Shorter days and long dark nights combined with cold temperatures, ice and snow lead many of us to feel low. In the times before electricity, our ancestors would rest in winter, repairing tools by the fire and going to bed with the sun. Modern conveniences mean that we don’t spend the winter resting anymore, but there are some things you can do to boost your mood.
Get moving. Make sure you exercise every day. This can be anything from a good stretching routine to lifting weights to dancing to your favourite songs. There are plenty of ways to move your body inside over the winter.
Fresh air and sunshine. Get outside! Skiing, snowshoeing, skating and hiking are all great ways to add movement to your day and give you the benefit of being outdoors and in nature, which often gives us a lift. If winter sports aren’t your thing, even stepping outside for a short walk can help.
"Add colour. Wear bright clothing, paint one wall in your room a vibrant colour or make art in a rainbow of hues to brighten the space you spend the most time in. Colour can impact your mood and bright colours can help you feel good and energized on cold, dreary winter days."
Eat well. Plan meals that are nourishing and comforting. Chilli, soups, stews and casseroles are great ways to add vegetables to your diet in ways that will help you feel cozy and cared for.
Get cozy. Cuddle up on the couch, wrapped in a blanket to keep you toasty while you enjoy a good book or a movie. Let your body rest and give your mind something fun to enjoy.
Add colour. Wear bright clothing, paint one wall in your room a vibrant colour or make art in a rainbow of hues to brighten the space you spend the most time in. Colour can impact your mood and bright colours can help you feel good and energized on cold, dreary winter days.
Add music. Make a few playlists to keep you company. You might find that having a go-to list of upbeat music that always gets your toes tapping will put a smile on your face. Another list might include songs that give you a warm sentimental feeling that can be soothing to listen to as you cuddle up under a blanket.
Remember, we can’t control the weather or the seasons, but we can make small choices every day that help us through the times when our energy is low as our bodies quite naturally want to retreat from the cold and rest.