Healthy Habits

Mood Boosting Activities to Beat the Winter Blues

Snowshoeing

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

The beginning of the year can be a refreshing time to set intentions for the year to come. It can also bring feelings of post-holiday and winter blues. During this transition, it’s important to identify and commit to things that will help you combat the winter doldrums.

Check off at least five of these mood boosting activities to keep the winter blues at bay!

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Your body relies on light exposure to maintain a sleep-wake cycle. During the winter when daylight hours are shorter, many people find themselves struggling to maintain their regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up as close to the same time every night/morning this week – within an hour is recommended!
  • Try a new hobby! Tackle a puzzle, craft, recipe, or new outdoor activity.
  • Socialize with friends and family. Make plans to see loved ones today. Consider hosting a festive party. Incorporate a fun theme or plan a game night to boost your social battery.
  • Give yourself manageable tasks to accomplish. Checking an item off your to-do list at the start of the day can provide motivation for a productive rest of the day.
  • Check something off your bucket list. Don’t have one? Spend a few minutes creating a list of activities you want to complete this winter season, this year, or during the next few years. Cross one of those items off today.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Review this article for tips on managing SAD.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Try some of these mood-boosting recipes!
  • Bundle up and get outside. Fresh air and vitamin D are sure to improve your mental and physical health. Go for a walk or incorporate this 5 senses exercise to soothe a busy mind.
  • Practice gratitude. Acknowledging the good in life can amplify positive emotions such as joy and contentment. Keep a running list of small things that bring you happiness. Add three things to your list today.
  • Reduce screen time. Colder weather often leads people to spend more time on their phones or watching TV. Leave your phone in another room during dedicated work or social time. Consider setting a social media limit on your phone that disables those apps after the allotted amount of time. Try downloading AppBlock or Flipd for extra help.
  • Stay active. Regular exercise releases feel-good endorphins that can enhance your sense of well-being. Give these at-home workouts a try!
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