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Beat the winter blues: What to do to help your mental health through winter

Published Nov 17, 2022
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As our daylight hours decrease over the winter, so can our mood. Many people go to work in the dark and after their shift, the sun is already setting. This can put a strain on mental health. If you’re starting to feel the winter blues kick in, we’ve got some tips to help you keep them at bay. 

The main cause of winter blues is due to the lack of sunlight. We get our Vitamin D from the sun and it’s a huge factor in keeping us healthy, strong, and happy. If you’re stuck in an office all day or find you’re leaving work in the dark everyday, it’s time to find ways to add a little sunlight into your day.

Getting outside as much as possible during daylight hours will greatly improve your mood. Go for a walk on your lunch hour, take your lunch to a window and eat in a sunny spot, or try sitting under a light therapy lamp for 20 to 30 minutes a day. Alternatively, visit the Stanley Milner Public Library, near our downtown Edmonton apartments, and read a book under one a light therapy lamp for free.

Providing your body with ways to naturally release dopamine and serotonin will also increase your mood. These hormones are lightly referred to as the happy hormones as they affect mood, sleep, and mental well-being. Both hormones are released with light exercise; so, fitting in a few 10 minute walks or workouts a day will keep you happy and healthy through the winter months. 

Did you know dressing inappropriate for the weather can affect your mood? Being cold can add to seasonal blues making you feel miserable. It’s hard to predict the weather in late fall as mornings are cold, and afternoons can become balmy. Dress in layers that you can easily remove when the day heats up or add on as you cool down.

One of the best ways to keep yourself feeling good all winter is to spend time with the people you love. Spending time with family and friends can boost your mental health and help make the days feel brighter. Plan date night, family gathering, or a weekend away.