Bring some nature indoors. One of the main reasons we get the “winter blues” is that colder temperatures often force us to stay inside for longer periods of time. Being isolated from nature and greenery can negatively impact mood, energy and productivity. But there is a solution - bringing elements of nature such as flowers, greenery, and even photos and posters of nature scenes, has been shown to boost mood, energy and productivity considerably. Try introducing some potted plants into your home or office, such as succulents, philodendron, or even winter herbs. For more plant suggestions and a list of associated benefits, see this article from Psychology Today: Plants Make You Feel Better
Use uplifting aromatherapy scents. It’s hard to overemphasize the effect that scent can have on your mood. Aromatherapy is a natural, affordable way to help lift your spirits while you’re going about your business in your home or office. We’ve mentioned a few ideas in previous posts of scents that are noted for their mood-boosting properties, such as balsam and peppermint oil. When it comes to essential oils, the possibilities are basically endless - just choose your favorite scent, diffuse, and enjoy! Be sure to take a few deep, conscious breaths to inhale your chosen scent, and mindfully notice the subtle shifts in how you feel. Check out this list from Entrepreneur.com for some suggestions on which oil might be most helpful for you: 6 Scents That Can Transform Your Mood and Productivity
Remember to give your skin a little extra TLC. We’ve all experienced the wear and tear that harsh winter winds and dry, cold air can wreak on our skin. Don’t feel silly making time for relaxing and rejuvenating treatments for yourself to help your skin recover - self care is important. And don’t overcomplicate things by thinking you have to spend lots of time or money - you don’t have to get too fancy. There are several options for treating your skin at home with some DIY magic. A few of our favorite examples include this natural Ginger Foot Bath for sore feet (and it also helps with nasal congestion), applying C & Co. Body Balm to dry, chapped hands and covering with warm spa gloves for 15 minutes, and of course, THEO, everyone’s favorite chocolate mask, for a nourishing, moisturizing boost for dry skin anywhere on the face. Choose a treatment that helps you feel warm and cozy and leaves your skin feeling refreshed, and enjoy the mood boost that comes with taking good care of yourself!
- Soak up sunshine whenever you can. We can all likely relate to feeling a bit more tired and sluggish during the cold winter months, especially on those gray, cloudy days. Some researchers think this is due to the fact that the absence of sunlight during the day can actually disrupt your sleep cycle, making it harder to achieve a full, restful night’s sleep when you go to bed. The presence of bright sunlight, especially when you’re exposed to it upon first waking up, stimulates production of stress hormones like cortisol, signaling your body that it’s time to get up and at ‘em up. Conversely, a darkening sky stimulates the production of melatonin, letting your body know it’s time to start winding down and getting ready for sleep. But when it starts getting dark at 4:45 in the afternoon, your poor body can get really confused trying to keep up with the signals it’s receiving and then still staying awake for several more hours. To help regulate your circadian rhythms, try to step out into bright sunshine during the day whenever you can, even for small pockets of time (like 5 minutes on your lunch break). If you can’t leave the building, at least try to be near windows where light is coming in during prime sunlight hours. Another possibility that may help regulate your sleep cycle, especially if you have to wake up when it’s still very dark outside, is to invest in a light alarm clock, which awakens you with increasing brightness specially designed to simulate sunlight and help your body produce the same “wakeup hormones” that it would during a natural sunrise.
Have you tried any of the tips above, or do you have your own hacks for beating the winter blues? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below!