Find out how to feel better when the days are dark and cold
For some people, winter just isn’t all that great. Even though December usually is a month of joy and magic, after that, winter just gets a little gloomy. If you are experiencing the ‘winter blues’, these are some tips to fight it and feel better during the coldest and darkest months of the year.
Even though getting enough sleep is important every day, it is especially important in winter. Sleep helps your brain relax, causing stress to become a thing of the past. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will feel the negative effects both physically and mentally. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people need about two more hours of sleep in winter. Dr. Carleara Weiss, a sleep scientist, explains to Sleepopolis: “Although the sleep need does not change during winter, environmental changes such as short days, early sunset, and cold temperatures tend to make people more tired and sleepy.” Your mood could be negatively influenced by lack of sleep and your concentration and productivity will be lower. But how do we sleep better?
An important part of sleeping well, is rhythm. Another tip is to keep your bedroom strictly for sleeping; don’t watch TV or work in bed. And avoid things that will keep you up, like cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine.
We all know that moving our bodies is beneficial for our health. Both physical and mentally. But it can be challenging to exercise when you also have a million other things to do during the day. So grab every opportunity you can! If you have a break from work, go for a walk. If you can take the stairs instead of the elevator; do it! It is recommended to get at least thirty minutes of exercise a day. If you don’t have the time to move your body for thirty minutes, then combine certain activities. Like eating your lunch while walking around the block.
People tend to underestimate the health benefits of drinking water. Staying hydrated is not just important for your body, it is also very important for your mind. If you don’t drink enough water, it can result in issues with focus and concentration. You can get sleepy and your ability to deal with stress will decline. If you drink enough water during the day (around 13 cups/3 liters), you will be able to deal with stress and sleepiness more adequately and stay on top of your game all day long!
Olenski’s two-minute rule
If you feel unproductive and like you’re not getting anything done right now, you might benefit from the two-minute rule. This rule prevents procrastination and will give you a feeling of accomplishment. The rule is simple: anything that can be done within two minutes should be done right away. Taking out the trash? Do it right away! Making the bed? Another one to immediately cross off your to do list. By doing these kinds of tasks right away, you feel like you have accomplished a lot and it saves you the stress of thinking of all the things you still have to do.
With these tips, you can actively try to make the January winter days better and less ‘blue’.