It’s safe to say most of us are sick of this constant -5 degree weather and are wishing for summer to be back again; even though it won’t be for another four months at least. If you’re from the Midwest, or really anywhere it snows, you know it’s a lot easier to be happy in the summer *for some reason*. Seasonal depression is a real thing and there are many factors that play into this. In the summer, it’s easier to be more active, get more exposure to the sun, eat healthier (no thanks to the warm, comfort food), and feel overall better. Even though it feels like a long time until then, you don’t have to let the winter drag you down. Here are a few tips on how to beat the winter rut:
1. Drink lots of water – This is a given and you’ve heard it countless times, but it’s true. The golden amount is 2 liters of water per day. It sounds like a lot but if you get into the habit, you’ll feel a world of a difference. Drinking water will help hydrate your entire body and will therefore:
- Boost your immune system and help your body fight off infections
- Increase energy levels
- Boost and maintain a regular digestive tract
- Make you feel less hungry (most of the time when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty)
- Clear up blemishes and acne
- Hydrate your skin
2. Take vitamins – Seen a noticeable difference in your energy levels? Do you constantly feel tired? A huge factor to this is your body not getting enough vitamins. Especially in the winter, your body lacks Vitamin D because you’re not getting nearly as much sun exposure. The level of your body’s Vitamin D can significantly affect your energy and mood. You can’t overdose on Vitamin D, so take two Vitamin D tablets daily to avoid feeling tired. (It would take an extreme amount to overdose. For reference, in the summer, if you’re outside for just 10 minutes, you already soak up 10,000 IUs.)
In addition, you might be feeling like this because because you’re not getting enough vitamins through your daily food intake. I highly recommend taking a daily women’s or men’s multivitamin. This can truly help with your overall health and how you feel.
3. Work out – You may or may not want to hear this, but working out does help your mood and energy levels. Overall, working out is all about feeling your best. Yes, if you work out consistently you may see a change in your physical appearance, which is nice, but the most important outcome of working out is how you feel on the inside.
No matter what it is, find something you like to do and try doing that at least 3 times a week. I promise you’ll feel a positive shift in your body and mind.
(Personal note: I only started working out consistently for a few months now, and it’s amazing how much better I really feel. I even feel lighter. It sounds strange, but if you work out you know what I’m talking about.)
4. Do something therapeutic – Find something you like that’s therapeutic for you and make the effort to set that time for yourself. Whether that’s working out, yoga, meditation, journaling, reading a book, taking a bath, scrapbooking, drawing, etc. (something not technology related) will help clear and refresh your mind. Honestly, most of us are always on the go and are using technology constantly. A few moments away from the craziness is a very good thing – it’s refreshing, it’s healing.
If you can get into the habit of setting this time for yourself at least 3-5 times a week, it can be very beneficial for your long term health as well.
5. Invest in good skincare – The harsh weather can really take a toll on your skin. It’s normal for your skin to become a lot drier than it is during other times of the year. It’s important to take extra good care of it. As I mentioned above, the #1 thing is to treat your skin from the inside-out (that goes year-round). Because your skin can noticeably change due to the cold climate, it’s important to aid your skin with quality skincare products too.
If you have oily or combination/oily skin and you experience your skin to be more dry in the winter, you should be using a different moisturizer specifically during this time. Do you find you’re also breaking out more? It can be due to your skin being too dry. If your skin is too dry, your skin combats that by producing more oil to hydrate – which then causes more clogged pores, hence more breakouts.
In addition, you need to make sure your exfoliating your skin with an exfoliating scrub. It’s important to renew your skin and exfoliate the dead skin cells away. This will help continually rejuvenate your skin for it’s best appearance. 2-3 times per week is plenty.
Finally, you can’t forget about chapstick. Your skin gets drier in the winter, so does your lips. Cracked lips isn’t fun, invest in good chapstick. I highly recommend Jack Black Intense Therapy lip balm. It’s life-changing.
Let me know what you do to beat the winter rut!
(*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, medical professional, or expert. These are just tips I have learned over the years and practice to live a healthy lifestyle. I wanted to share them with you because I know they have made a positive impact for me. Please always do your own research and do what your body needs.)