Many individuals notice that when the temperature starts to drop, so does their mood

Photo of a person wrapped in a blanket sitting on a couch with a cup of hot cocoa in their hand

It is not uncommon for people to start to feel more down, lethargic, unsociable, irritable, or depressed during the winter months. The days are shorter, colder, cloudier, and snowier which results in less mood-boosting sunlight and Vitamin D. Everyone is affected differently by the changes in the seasons, and some may even have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) where the lack of sun upsets the complex chemistry and biological rhythms of the body. 

According to Health Scotland and Kaiser Permanente, there are some steps you can take to try and overcome the winter blues. Just remember what works for someone, may not work for another, so it is important for individuals to try different methods and find what is a good fit for them.

  1. Keep Active – Light to moderate exercise can work well to combat mild depression symptoms. A good example of a light exercise would be going for a daily walk.
  2. Keep Warm – Being too cold can negatively affect one’s mood. Try drinking warm drinks, like tea, and wear warmer clothes and shoes. Keep a spare blanket handy too!
  3. Get Outside When Possible – While it may be too cold or overcast to go outside all the time, on brighter days spend some time outside in the sun or set up shop near windows when possible.
  4. Eat Healthy – Whole grains can boost energy and fruits and deep green or orange vegetables, like broccoli and carrots, can promote better mood and overall health.
  5. Seek Out Friends and Family – Socializing has a positive impact on a person’s mental health. It can be difficult at times, but make sure to keep in touch with friends and family and accept invitations to social events.
  6. Try a New Hobby – An active mind can ward off winter blues because it gives a person something to focus on and look forward too.
  7. Try Therapy or a Support Group – If you suffer from SAD or intense winter blues to the point where it negatively impacts your day-to-day life, make an appointment with a counselor or therapist, or find a support group. Sometimes the simple act of just honestly expressing how you feel can help a person cope with symptoms.

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About Author

Nebraska Public Transit is a program administered by the Nebraska Department of Transportation. NDOT’s Local Assistance Division is responsible for coordinating public transportation activities in Nebraska’s 93 counties and provides technical assistance as requested. NDOT receives money from the Federal Transit Administration and state transportation funds to fulfill requirements set forth by Nebraska Revised Statute 13-1204.

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