The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and rolling out of warm sheets in the morning is getting harder each day. It’s almost winter, guys, and if you’re feeling down in the dumps, you’re definitely not alone. Also known as seasonal affective disorder, the winter blues is a real thing. For some, it’s much more intense than for others, but feelings of low energy and mild depression are pretty common when the season hits. Don’t worry, even the happiest of us feel blue come wintertime. Luckily, there are great ways to beat winter depression and embrace the season to the fullest!

Don’t let your lack of motivation hinder you; make sure to exercise and socialize as much as you can. But also take time to relax! Reading your favourite book, listening to upbeat tunes and taking a calming yoga class are all things you should kick up come wintertime. Read on for 7 tips to beat winter depression in its tracks.

Exercise

When the workday is done and it’s already dark outside, it can be tempting to stay at home and skip the gym. But exercising increases your endorphins and boosts your mood, curbing winter blues. Pack your gym bag in the morning so you can go straight from work, or go on your lunch break if that works better for you. Group classes are also super motivating, so consider working some of those into your weekly routine.

Brighten up

Since it’s usually dark when we wake up and dark before dinnertime, the amount of sunlight we see can be minimal. This can definitely contribute to winter blues as sunlight improves our mood. Try to spend more time outdoors, open blinds and curtains when you can, and pop vitamin Ds on the daily. If that doesn’t do the trick, talk to your doctor about investing in a SAD lamp – an artificial mood light that supposedly helps you wake up and makes you happier throughout the day.

Healthy diet

While some foods are packed with punch, others zap your energy levels. Stay away from refined and processed foods (white breads, sugar, etc.) and eat more complex carbohydrates such as whole wheat breads, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. These foods have a positive effect on your mood and energy levels and provide your body with the nutrients it needs. Oh, and you might be interested in the mood benefits of this little thing we call chocolate.

Crank the tunes

Wake up and put on your favourite upbeat music. This has been shown to put us in a better mood throughout the day and in the long run as well. And really, what could be better than getting ready to cheery music?

Get social

One of the worst things you can do when you’re feeling down is stay home and wallow in your down-ness. Get together with your family, friends, or co-workers to chat or do a fun activity. Socializing with others can give you the pick-me-up you need.

Treat yourself

Retail therapy; it’s too real. When you’re feeling blue, sometimes a little treat for yourself can put you in a better mood. Whether it’s something small like your favourite holiday-flavoured latte, or that cashmere sweater you’ve been eyeing for months, make sure to treat yourself sometimes!

Relax

The holiday season can get a little crazy, but make sure you find time to relax, doing something you enjoy. Read your favourite book, take a long bath, or try some meditations. My favourite way to relax? A yoga class! Yoga can reduce stress and anxiety, making you feel relaxed and calm. Plus, you get your exercise in as well, so it does double duty on wintertime blues.

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Also known as seasonal affective disorder, the winter blues is a real thing, and feelings of low energy and mild depression are pretty common when the season hits. Luckily, there are great ways to beat SAD and embrace the season to the fullest - read on for 7 of our best tips to stop winter depression!

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Kate
Wellness and Food Editor at Meraki Lane
Kate is a freelance lifestyle writer based in Toronto, Canada. She’s always had a passion for the written word, and after interning at publications such as FASHION Magazine and The Kit, she knew she had to take her passion to the next level. When she’s not sharing her love for styling outfits, home cooked meals, fitness endeavours and home décor, she’s probably taking a hot yoga class or watching the latest series on Netflix.

This is an excerpt from the article 7 Tips to Beat Winter Depression which originally appeared on http://www.cloudywithachanceofwine.com/.