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The SADdest time of the year: How to beat the winter blues 

It’s the SADdest time of year— that is, the time of year when Seasonal Affective Disorder is in full swing. Many people go to work before the sun comes up and go home in the dark. Add that to the fact that we’ve just come out of a season with nonstop fun and festivities with friends and family. Now, it’s work, work, work. We can’t go back to December (and really, would you want to go back to 2022?!), and we won’t “spring forward” until March. So what can you do right now to beat the seasonal blues and boost your mood until the sun returns?

Take a midday walk 

If you’re eating lunch at your desk, switch it up. Take your food outside for a picnic or, if it’s too cold to sit outside, eat indoors and bundle up for a post-lunch powerwalk. In places like Canada, artificial light therapy is effective in 60-90% of cases. If you’ve got actual sunshine, soak up that Vitamin D on your lunch break.

Spring (cleaning) comes early

Spring is months away, but a little spring cleaning can work miracles for your mental health. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by things you can’t change (for instance, the sun taking a vacation), cleaning and decluttering your space can help you restore that sense of control. Even small things like making your bed, practicing mindfulness while cleaning dishes (focus on the soap’s smell, the water’s temperature, etc.), and choosing a set space for shoes, keys, or other items that make your place feel messy can make a big difference.  

Exercise

In the wise words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” She’s not wrong. The American Psychological Association says that exercise can boost moods in the short term and fight depression over a long period. Moving your body releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Sign up for a class (we’d love to work out together online at Enhancewell Fitness!) and enjoy endorphins and accountability. 

Spend time with friends

Winter feels like a time for hibernating, but escape your puddle of blankets on the couch and call your bestie for some out-of-the-house fun. Too cold to leave the house? Invite them over for a night of cooking together or even just set up regular Zoom happy hours. (We’re far enough past 2020 to bring those back, right?) 

If you’re experiencing the wintertime blues, know that spring is just around the corner. Until then, sign up for a group class or private session with the team at Enhancewell Fitness. We guarantee good vibes, great music, and a pep talk as you crush the workout! 

Note: If your blues get too big for sunshine or exercise, seek professional help and know that we’re all cheering for you to find your happy. For confidential support for those in the United States, dial 988 to be connected to the Suicide and Crisis Hotline in times of distress.

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