Four ways to boost your mood during the winter blues
Shorter days. Longer nights. Colder temperatures. Greyer skies. It’s no wonder the winter blues occur during the supposed happiest season of all.
Compounded by holiday bills, festivity fatigue, and much of the world still spending more time inside, about one in five Americans1 say winter leaves them feeling blue.
Unlike Seasonal Affective Disorder—a type of depression related to the shortened daylight hours—the winter blues describe the milder sluggish sadness we feel between early fall and late winter.
While the winter blues don’t interfere with your ability to enjoy life, there are ways to boost your mood to make these darker days feel lighter.
Tap into activities you already love
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes, you simply need to get rolling. Tap into the hobbies you already love and give yourself a stress-free mood boost. No planning required.
Cozy up with your favorite movie, make yourself a rewarding dinner, or pick up the last chapter of the book you’re reading: you know what works.
While the winter blues can make it harder to motivate ourselves to do the things we enjoy, those things will still be enjoyable when we get to them.
Bring movement into your day
Embrace the chill. In Scandinavia, where people live with long, dark, and cold winters, the concept of “friluftsliv” thrives. The term, loosely meaning “open-air living,” involves dressing for the weather and enjoying what it has to offer.
Reexperience summer hiking trails on cross-country skis. Venture through scenic parks on snowshoes. Skate along winding river trails. Or simply take a long walk through your neighborhood.
Exercise can lessen your winter blues by releasing feel-good endorphins: chemicals in your brain that can enhance your sense of well-being.
Add light to your environment
Going for a 30-minute walk between mid-morning and early-afternoon can maximize your exposure to natural sunlight, which has a profound effect on feeling well. Serotonin, a key hormone involved with stabilizing our moods, is believed to be released in response to sunlight.
If you can’t get outside, or simply need more light, make your environment brighter by using a desk lamp that doubles as a light therapy box. And if you’re working from home, work near windows and keep the blinds open around the house.
Nurture your body
When you’re feeling blue, you may be tempted to reach for high-calorie comfort foods. While this may feel good in the short term, it likely won’t in the long term, and could even bring along unintended consequences, too. Instead, reach for wholesome foods that supply your body with a range of nutrients.
Supplementation, such as Vitamin D, is also important during the winter months. Because the days are shorter, and the sun hangs lower in the sky, your body may not be getting sufficient UBV rays to make Vitamin D.
Nutraceuticals, such as SciMar NuPa Daily, can also boost your mood balance during the winter months. That’s because the third ingredient in SciMar NuPa Daily, SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine), is clinically shown to elevate mood. In fact, SAMe is offered as a prescription antidepressant in parts of Europe.
But SciMar NuPa Daily is even more than SAMe. Only in SciMar NuPa Daily can SAMe work with other ingredients to support your metabolic health, helping improve your metabolism and immunity. This is especially beneficial during decadent holiday gatherings and the annual flu season. SciMar NuPa Daily is also designed to protect your liver’s production of hepatalin*, a hormone involved in reducing elevated blood sugar levels.
We encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider before taking SciMar NuPa Daily. This is especially important if you are taking antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors.
*In the academic literature, hepatalin is known as hepatic insulin-sensitizing substance (the “HISS” hormone).