Winter can be a challenging time of year — and especially now that we’re facing our third year of *all this*! The trick to staying happy in winter is to get creative and accept the season for what it is. We can’t make spring come any faster and we can’t make it any sunnier or warmer outside. But we can control plenty of other things, which could offer at least a temporary burst of sunshine from the inside out.
Read on for 10 simple ways to be happy in winter.
1. Fill your day with happy little things.
A new book. Morning journaling with your favorite pen. A cozy blanket for your Hulu marathons. A really good cup of coffee in the morning! These little things can go a long way in boosting happiness, so find ways to pepper your days with them.
Our tip: Start your day with Good Morning Sunshine™ Coffee + Adaptogens. A combo of smooth, delicious Fair Trade coffee with organic red ginseng extract, each pod gives you more than caffeine to fight fatigue! The adaptogenic (stress-management) benefits of ginseng in every cup are a nice bonus.*
2. Embrace the “no bad weather” mindset.
People who live in cold climates know there’s no such thing as “too cold” to go outside. That’s because there’s no “bad weather” — only “bad clothes.” If being cold makes you cranky (*raises hand*), change your clothes to change your mood. (Here are some helpful tips.) Reach for wool socks, long underwear and heat-retaining layers to stay happy in winter weather, no matter what the temperature is.
3. Brighten things up.
During the day, turn on more lights, use a light therapy lamp and open the blinds. Our sleep-wake cycle takes cues from the sun, and bright lights can help you feel more alert and possibly happier during the day.
4. Slow down and scale back.
Do you feel like your energy and mood tank in winter? You’re not alone. Traditional Chinese Medicine backs up that feeling! Summer is a season of growth and expansion, while winter is a time to rest. Lean into that natural rhythm. Let yourself be still, slow down and rest more.
5. Change up your meal plan.
TCM also embraces seasonal eating, to create balance and optimize nutrition. Fill your weekly menu with nourishing soups and stews. Start your day with warm oatmeal or congee. Eat warm, moist foods to balance the cold, dry weather. (At least your belly will be happy in winter!)
6. Get creative with movement.
Running your usual 10K might be a challenge on icy days, but you can still move your body. Find fun ways to work up a sweat and stay warm (for those mood-boosting endorphins)! Dance to your favorite music. Take classes at the gym. Start a strength building program. Give yourself permission to try new things, a practice that benefits your mind and body.
7. Stay ahead of dryness.
Winter can wreak havoc on skin, so take a pro-active approach. Beyond slathering on your favorite lotion and lip balm, try making a simmer pot for extra moisture and aromatherapy!
8. Shift your schedule.
There’s no shame in wanting to climb in bed earlier in winter. Our bodies are wired to get sleepy when it’s dark. Use the season to work on your sleep habits, a surefire way to make anyone happy in winter (or at least a little less cranky).
Tip: Need a little support at bedtime? Hello Dreams™ Sleep Strips with Melatonin and Calm Down™ herbal blend are formulated to help you fall asleep, stay asleep or fall back to sleep and wake up rejuvenated.* They have a minty herbal taste and can be taken when you climb under the covers (no water needed, since they melt away)!
9. Plan something fun for spring.
There’s a science-backed reason why we feel so excited in the lead-up to something awesome. Anticipation offers proven benefits for our mental health. If winter’s got you down, plan something fun for spring, whether it’s a backyard party or a beach vacation.
10. Chase the sun!
Keep an eye on the weather. When you spy a pocket of sunshine in the forecast, go outside. Play hooky for the day or grab a 10-minute walk at lunchtime. It’ll all help, since sunshine can actually give you a boost of serotonin (the happy hormone).
Spring is coming — and there are brighter days ahead. If you have any concerns about your mood or well-being, don’t hesitate to talk to a health-care professional!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.