The season of grey clouds, frosted car windows, and laneways blocked by city plows is upon us. And just because it’s easy to slide into hermit mode, that doesn’t mean it has to be all doom and gloom. There are a variety of ways we can steel ourselves against the winter woes, and we’ve come up with a short list of methods to help boost the mood this season. This list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it ranked in any particular order. So, do with it as you will, because like it or not, winter is here.
It might be harder to see these days, but the sun’s still up there doing its thing. Pull back the curtains, open your blinds, and let those light beams into your home; let your walls soak them up, your floors, your furniture. Getting a good dose of natural sunlight is an easy way to defend against depression. People who research this stuff and the editors at Chatelaine have been trying to drill this into us for years. Studies show how the brain will release more mood-boosting chemicals, like serotonin, on sunny days than it will on darker ones. So, since our overall exposure to the sun is limited for the next little while, it’s important to try and maximize the benefits of what light there is. For you ambitious lot, bundle up, and if it’s not too treacherous out, take a stroll and get some exercise with your sunshine.
Drink more . . . water!
This is another easy one but keep your body well watered. Being dehydrated is the worst, just ask your headache when you wake up New Year’s morning. Drinking H2O is one of the best things you could do for your body and your mind, it can really help keep the spirits high if you find yourself trapped . . . I mean, visiting with family throughout the holidays.
Keep Calm and ______ On
Do that thing you do when you want to lose yourself in something. Read a book. Do a puzzle. Work in your shop whether that be one that’s oil stained, ink stained, or paint stained. Get your hands dirty and immerse yourself. Allowing your brain time to play is a great way to boost your mood this winter.
Yoga, Meditate, Unplug
There are a lot of useful tools to help one practice a more mindful lifestyle, but if you’re just starting out, try and make a point of putting some time aside to take notice of yourself and your surroundings (this doesn’t have to be long, even just 5 – 10 minutes is good). Directing your thoughts to focus on the here and now is a great way to improve your mental health, sleep schedule, and even how your body responds to illness. The results aren’t instantaneous but putting in the work can really pay off. Similarly, taking up some form of low impact exercise such as yoga can help reduce stress and help strengthen parts of the body that aren’t used as regularly as others.
The trick here is to pry yourself away from all the other external stimulants we have in our lives now. Take a week off news and Netflix. Set your notifications on silent. We promise the virtual world will still be there when you circle back.
I know we just told you to unplug, but now’s the perfect time to reach out to friends and family. Meet for coffee or tea, play Parcheesi, do some volunteering, but whatever you do, be sure to smile and laugh while you do it. Social media is no match for actual socialization, so put in that extra bit of effort to connect with the people in your life. Instead of sharing spam and memes, sit down with somebody and share a joke or anecdote. Give them a real update. Let them listen, and in turn, be that ear for them. What better way to boost your mood this winter than by being around those we care about most?
As the weeks inch through the season, we at Over 55 London wish you all a fantastic close to your 2018 year. Have safe and joyful celebrations, and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2019. To connect with an associate or to contact the office, click here.