There is no denying that many people feel down during the winter. This annual occurrence takes place because the skies are darker longer, we are inside more, and many of the sights, smells, and sounds of the seasons of life and activity, Spring and Summer, go away. All of this saddens the human animal.
But, you do not have to fall to the threat of the winter blues. You can fight back. The most effective way to fight off the winter blues is to trick your body into thinking it is still the Spring or the Summer. You do this by changing your surrounding environment.
Changing Your Surroundings to Fight the Winter Blues
As stated above, one of the top reasons we feel down in the winter is because we are in the dark in the colder months more than we are during the summer. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to prime the happiness-pump in the winter is to open the curtains to let in as much natural light as possible into our lives.
Going hand-in-hand with this step is going outside and letting the sun shine onto our faces and exposed skin. This will also help us stay happy during the winter. Our bodies need sunlight to produce vitamin D, which is needed to fight off depression. Give your body at least 15 minutes of direct sunlight a day.
Now, of course, we do get fewer hours of daylight in the winter no matter where we live, so opening the curtains will only give us more light for a naturally prescribed amount of time. But, you can still add light to your life before the sunrise and post sunset by having a fire in the fireplace (always gives a huge boost of positive energy to people), lit candles around the room, and electric lighting that produces a natural-like light.
In addition to increasing the amount of light you get each day, you can use bright covers on your pillows and your bed. The more bright, cheerful colors you can surround yourself with, the better.
Another change to your surroundings you need to make in the winter is the smell of your home. We understandably keep our windows closed in the winter. While this keeps us warm, it does give our homes a musty, closed-up smell, which is not good for our emotions.
To fight off this winter-based smell, use aromatherapy in your home. Since you are trying to replicate the Spring and Summer, go with aromas that are citrus based or loaded with floral scents. If you are particularly feeling down, go with fragrances that have been especially designed to fight depression.
Using Our Natural Bodies to Fight the Winter Blues
Our bodies evolved to move. After all, at one time, in order to survive we had to pull edibles from the soil, snatch salmon from streams, climb trees to escape predators, and throw spears to get thick slabs of mammoth meat. But, now, we can get our food delivered to us as we sit in our cars. Now, we can have a productive day that only has us walking from our beds to our bathroom, kitchen, car, office and back.
This will not do if we want to be happy in the winter. Being physically active at least 20 minutes a day will go a long ways to keeping us physically and mentally healthy. Exercise releases serotonin into the bloodstream and our brains and gets our blood moving to flush out the bad and bring in the good.
Another way to get serotonin into the body is to eat raw nuts and dark chocolate and drink one or two glasses of red wine.
By priming our bodies to be happy and changing our home environments we can be happy and healthy each and every season.