Millions of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) once the trees are bare and the temperatures start dropping. Here in Northern Michigan, we have fairly long winters that can take tolls on full-time residents as we anxiously await our one week of summer (ok, we might be exaggerating a bit). Keep your mood high and boost your spirits with these 5 ways to beat the winter blues.
#1 Stay active and exercise
It’s scientifically proven that even moderate exercise (e.g., walking) can help improve symptoms of depression, including SAD. Here in Northern Michigan, snow can help get you active. Grab your skis, your snowboard, or your curling broom and get moving!
#2 Get outside
Similarly, getting outdoors can lower stress levels, improve focus, and reduce symptoms of SAD. Bundle up and window shop downtown, hit up one of the region’s many cross country ski trails, or try a snowshoe hike at Sleeping Bear Dunes!
#3 Eat well
From Christmas cookies to hearty beers and rich soups, it’s not difficult to see why many people gain weight and feel unhealthy during the winter. It’s important to eat healthy to help keep your mood high.
#4 Rock out
Research has shown that listening to happy music (Pharrell, anyone?) can significantly boost your overall mood.
#5 Fake it ‘til you make it
We’ve all seen the daylight simulators at stores like Brookstone and they really do work. Researchers have determined that light therapy can alleviate or reduce symptoms of SAD in nearly 80% of cases! Take it to the next level with a dawn simulator alarm clock that slowly brightens the lights to help make waking up easier.
Whether it’s rockin’, movin’, eatin’, or fakin’, we hope these tips will help you stay cheerful during this winter season—and all year long!