Five Easy Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

blue heart

The whimsical groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter and it seems he was right. If you're feeling the winter blues after the long chill, consider five easy ways to boost your mood and enjoy God's world in all its stages of beauty.

Many people felt a sense of dread when the groundhog saw his shadow. While we know God makes the final decision about the seasons, the ongoing snowfall and cold remind us that winter is here for another few weeks. If you suffer from seasonal depression or "winter blues," there are a few easy ways to get through it. Of course, if your feeling of depression are persistent, you should talk to a priest or counselor to get additional help. But often a simple change of perspective can do wonders for your mood.

Get Out and Move

Even if you take a 10 minute walk, it makes a big difference in how you feel. Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather and wear boots if the ground is icy or snowy. If you can't get outside, try a quick exercise regime at home, such as the 10 Minute Solution. You can do these workouts right in your own home or office. The entire routine only takes 10 minutes so it can fit into any hectic schedule. Exercise helps to relieve stress naturally so you feel better. A video example is below for you to try out.

Here Comes the Sun

A lack of Vitamin D can make you feel fatigued. The sun is a natural source of Vitamin D. Try to get outside for a few minutes to soak up some rays on a sunny day. If you are susceptible to the cold, wear a sweater and sit near an open window to get some sunshine. Make sure to wear sunscreen when you are in the sun for 10 minutes or longer - even in the winter. Often people get stagnant from being stuck indoors all the time. A brief moment in the sun can give you a natural dose of hope. Consider trying a fun winter activity such as sledding, skiing or simply building a snowman.

Eat Healthy Foods

During the winter, we sit around and snack because we are stuck indoors. Sometimes we indulge in comfort foods and wind up putting on a few pounds. This can make you feel lethargic and sluggish. Eat a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean meats and fish. Eat whole grains for that feeling of comfort and get rid of the cookies, cakes and candies. They give you sugar rush then a feeling of being letdown just a half hour later.

Pray and Meditate

When you are feeling depressed, talk to God. Jesus is always there to give you an uplifting feeling of peace. Go to Mass during the week to recharge your spirit. Read the scriptures rather than watching television or surfing on the Internet. Prayer and meditation are the best way to elevate your mood and give you hope for the future. "May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord." Psalm 104:34

Visualize Yourself in the Summer

Visualization is a great way to slip away from an uncomfortable moment, especially if you can't afford to go away to a warm and exotic location. Think of yourself in a pair of shorts, lounging out on a chaise lounge while you sip a cool drink. The birds are singing and the sun is shining on you with the scent of flowers wafting in the wind. Look at photos from last summer and remember - winter will be gone sooner than you think as the warm days of spring take over!