How to Keep Your Mood Lifted During the Cold Months

How to Keep Your Mood Lifted During the Cold Months

The cold or winter months of the year can be the hardest to cope with for various reasons. Even if you don’t suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), the chances are the dark mornings and winter evenings, with the reduction in daylight, will affect your well-being.

Winter doesn’t have to be a killjoy — you just need to accept that the seasons change and embrace that lovely autumnal vibe. Think about getting out your winter clothes (after all, skimpy summer gear doesn’t suit most people), beautiful cozy jumpers, warm coats, hats, and scarves, as they’re now the order of the day. Not only that, think about where you can go all togged up in your snuggly clobber – that will boost your mood instantly.

Think walks through the park to kick the falling leaves, Halloween, and of course, the Bonfire Night fireworks celebrations. All these occasions mark the end of the year in the UK, but even in the depths of winter, there’s plenty we can do to lift our spirits and keep us going until we see the spring flowers in March.

The first thing is obvious- stay active! Whether it means going on walks with your dog or joining a gym class at the local school or club – keep moving so as not to feel cooped up inside all day long. Here are some other ideas of activities you can embrace during the cold months.

How to Keep Your Mood Lifted During the Cold Months wild swimming

Take up wild swimming

Crazy, we know! Bonkers but fun. Wild swimming has come a long way from the days of swimming in your local rubbish-filled lake. There is something naughty, a little bit scary, and wonderfully refreshing about leaving your wetsuit at home to enter open water naked (or perhaps in a swimming costume). But you’ll be glad you did!

Coldwater immersion is both therapeutic and refreshing, and soothes muscle aches, which can help to relieve depression. It’s also an excellent way for the thrill-seeker who wants more adventure than just lounging around at home!

The first effect of a cold water dunk is intense vasodilation, pumping out muscle lactates and bringing fresh blood to the extremities. Swimming like this promotes an endorphin shot which creates feelings of well-being in those who experience it, and people crave more of that, diving back in again because this natural high feels so good.

It might be nippy outside, but it’s warm in the water (once you get used to it). Don’t fancy wild swimming, how about a warm mindfulness lesson?

How to Keep Your Mood Lifted During the Cold Months meditation

Learn mindfulness

Mindfulness can be a worthwhile thing to master. Not because you’ll become a genius, but just for the joy and sense of peace it brings! When we pay attention to what our minds are doing with full awareness instead of letting them wander off into obsessive thoughts about things that have no control or power over us – well, those moments make up happiness itself.

Taking pleasure in the small things, looking at the changing color of the seasons, and enjoying the moment no matter what we are doing will help lift your mood. We know this can be easier said than done. Often busy lives leave no time for small pleasures, so reward yourself with a short break just to sit and think and see how much better you feel.

Get plenty of sleep

Getting as much sleep as your body needs helps keep your mood lifted, and tiredness is a mood killer. Most adults know how much sleep they need and how to get a decent night’s sleep, but if you need a reminder to get the best sleep possible, here it is.

Stick to a routine – go to bed at the same time most nights. By sticking to this routine, your body learns that it’s bedtime and will adjust accordingly.

Start relaxing by turning off mobile phones, laptops, and tablets at least an hour before starting your bedtime routine. The blue light that these devices give off in the form of fluorescent and compact fluorescent light (CFL) makes our brains believe it’s daytime and disrupts the manufacture of melatonin – the chemical we need to go to sleep.

Take all electrical devices out of your bedroom. There’s nothing more annoying than the beep of notifications when you’re trying to drift off – if you must have your phone on, use the do not disturb function.

Keep the temperature in your bedroom cool. Nineteen degrees is the perfect temperature to sleep in (18-21 degrees for children under ten years old). Keeping the bedroom at this temperature won’t get too hot in bed, and snuggling under the duvet becomes a luxury, not a sweaty chore.

Eat healthy food

Winter calls for heavier food. Our bodies crave more fatty and carb-rich treats in the colder months – while we love a round of junk food snacks, we also love bowls of homemade soup, spicy curries, and stews.

Stews were made for winter, and eating healthy food will lift your mood while hibernating—anything with a dose of vitamin D and vitamins B12 is good for you.

Researchers have discovered ten different nutrients that battle depression and boost mood. These include calcium, chromium (a trace mineral), folate, or folic acid in foods like orange juice, iron from red meat or dried beans, and legumes with a side order of roasted vegetables for good measure! There’s also magnesium which helps regulate blood sugar levels throughout the day – perfect if we’re feeling tired.

Not only does our body need glucose to function correctly, but when low on energy, you’ll find yourself more susceptible than usual towards feelings of gloom, so this is something worth keeping stocked up on. Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to get plenty of omega-three fatty acids that will help improve your mental well-being, too, because studies show fish oils or flaxseed oils feed the brain.

Stay in contact with your friends and family

While wild swimming, mindfulness, and eating well are all great ideas, the best boost to your mood is a good laugh. Staying in touch with your people is proven to be the most effective way to keep happy and healthy, no matter the time of year.


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