The Ultimate Guide To Boosting Your Mood During The Winter

With wintertime now in full swing, I think we’re all starting to feel the effects of the cold weather and reduced sunlight. While the festive holiday season can bring some much-needed cheer to the month of December, winter is a long season and it can be hard to find to find ways to boost your mood during these next few months.

I’ve compiled all of my favorite tips and helpful hacks for boosting your winter mood into an ultimate guide; here’s how to find some happiness amidst the season ahead!

1. Make plans

Even if you consider yourself to be an introvert, getting out and socializing with people as much as you can is a great way to improve your mood. It can be tempting and far easier to curl up inside under a warm blanket and scroll through your phone for hours on end, but I can guarantee that this will only end up making you feel isolated, especially during the extra-long, dark days of winter.

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Simply planning a couple things per week to look forward to can help boost your mood significantly; try scheduling a coffee date with a good friend or drag yourself out of bed to attend that party you don’t really feel like going to. By the end of the day, you’ll probably be glad you went, and you’ll feel socially productive.

The Ultimate Guide To Boosting Your Mood During The Winter

2. Listen to happy music

While this may seem a bit silly, music therapy has been a way that people have worked through slumps for a long time. Listening to happier music can often immediately boost your mood, and can have lasting, long-term effects on the brain.

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During the next few months, it might sound especially nice to listen to slow, sad music to reflect those winter blues. However, I’d urge you to steer clear of those playlists and opt for some more joyful tunes.

3. Create good sleep habits

While it can be tricky to get into the rhythm of a regular sleep schedule, establishing a good pattern of sleep is super beneficial to your health and wellness. When the winter season starts to feel long and slow, taking a nap can be a huge temptation. Taking regular naps, though, can throw off your schedule and make for bad sleep during the night.

By creating a set bedtime and wake-up time for yourself, you can avoid getting stuck in the pattern of being exhausted all day long, which is especially necessary when the days are long and dark outside.

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4. Get outside when it’s sunny

During those rare and short hours of the day when the sun is out and shining, try to get outside! Even if it’s just going for a short walk, being out in the fresh air when it’s light out will help those winter blues.

It’s important to take advantage of daylight hours whenever possible, and just being outdoors in general is a great mood booster.

The Ultimate Guide To Boosting Your Mood During The Winter

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5. Try vitamin D supplements

If getting out in the sun during the day just isn’t feasible for you, vitamin D supplements are a great alternative (and a great addition to your daily routine no matter what!).

Vitamin D has been proven to help ease depression and boost that lethargic winter mood since it’s the body’s response to sunlight exposure. Taking supplements of vitamin D can help your body mimic that response and help increase your happiness by quite a bit.

6. Avoid getting stuck in a routine

One of the easiest ways to fall into a depressive season is by getting stuck in boring routines that don’t bring you joy. Try switching your days up as much as possible; for example, if you always do the same thing when you get home from work or school, try making a fun meal you’ve never had before or read that interesting book that’s been sitting on your shelf for months instead of settling in with the same show you watch every night.

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Simply changing things up a little bit can improve your winter mood and make the long days of minimal sunlight feel new and exciting.

7. Plan your days and make to-do lists

While you do want to avoid getting stuck in a routine, it’s also a good idea to sit down at the beginning of each day and make a plan for what you hope to do and accomplish. It can feel like just an extra thing to do or seem draining to write a to-do list or jot down your goals for the day, but it’s really important for boosting your mood and helping you to be productive and motivated when that feeling is rare.

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The winter months can leave us feeling down and idle, so creating a roadmap for the day ahead and having clear tasks to achieve can give you that boost of energy that you need to get everything done.

The Ultimate Guide To Boosting Your Mood During The Winter

8. Consider outside help

Seasonal affective disorder (sometimes referred to as seasonal depression) is also a challenge many face during the months ahead, and it is much more serious than a case of the ‘winter blues;’ it can really take a toll on one’s mental health and overall mood. If you find yourself suffering from the symptoms of S.A.D., perhaps it is worth looking for professional help.

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Online therapy has become much more accessible, and there are lots more options for therapy nowadays than there ever have been before. If you’re struggling with where to start, BetterHelp is a great site that will match you with an affordable therapist online.

Remember that it’s more than okay to ask for help; in fact, it’s encouraged! During winter, it’s very common to have those feelings of increased sadness and lethargy. Don’t let yourself get stuck in that, though, and make sure you put yourself first and do things that will benefit your mind, body, and soul.

Boosting that winter mood is definitely a challenge, but hopefully, this guide has given you some helpful strategies in how to do just that. Let us know your best tips in the comments below!

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