With the infamous polar vortex sweeping through the US, the temperatures are plunging so low, that cities such as Chicago have become just as cold as the North Pole. More and more people are stranded at home, while the US weather chiefs advise strongly against travel. Ultimately, the temperatures have dropped to a new record – the coldest winter in the Midwest in 50 years – and it’s a severe health threat to all. Being exposed to the elements for too long can be harmful, especially if you don’t take the necessary precautions to stay safe. Experts have even advised against talking too much when you’re outdoors and taking deep breaths. With frostbite and hypothermia at bay, you can’t afford to spend a lot of time outside.
However, while you can’t take the risk of making the most of the snowy days, you need to be aware of the dangers of too much indoors time in winter. Indeed, seasonal affective disorder is commonly linked to direct sunlight exposure. During the winter time, the dramatic decrease in outdoor activities can lead to a surge in SAD issues. Contrary to the common belief, SAD is no benign issues; it is a form of depression which can be just as painful and crippling as any other kind of depressive mood. But how can you stop SAD from affecting you when you can’t recharge your batteries in the sun?
You have alternative approaches to both lift your mood and encourage your mind to stick to the bright side of life by creating little pockets of happiness throughout your day. Are you ready to kick SAD away?
You deserve more than a 6-pack from the shop
There’s no denying that high consumption of alcohol can lead to anxiety and depressive behaviors. However, drinking in moderation can create a positive rush of chemicals through your brain. Indeed, there’s a lot that can be said about enjoying a glass of wine between friends or rewarding yourself at the end of a long day with a pint of beer. However, when it comes to releasing endorphins – the happy hormone – into your brain, quality wins over quantity. Indeed, the more your drink, the more your brain is affected by toxic substances. But you can enjoy a nice beer with a nice meal at home from time to time and experience a genuine increase in happiness. Avoid shop-bought packs in this season and opt for luxury experiences such as joining the Amazing Clubs beer club. What’s more satisfying than trying out new tastes from the comfort of your home every month? And, for better effect, you can even plan a beer tasting evening with friends, with a yummy meal.
Enhancing your home and your mood
Staying indoors can make you feel claustrophobic after a while. The air gets stale. The rooms feel with invisible dust particles, and you’re longing for fresh air. When opening your windows isn’t an option because it’s too cold outside, you can try adding houseplants to your interior. Indeed, greens can not only help to purify indoor air by remove toxins and releasing oxygen, but they can also boost your mood. You’ll soon find that the emotional benefits you get from a plant can outcast the maintenance work. Ultimately, what’s a little bit of watering from time to time if it keeps depression at bay?
Get excited about getting up in the morning
Even though we’ve passed the longest night of the year – it was last December – it doesn’t mean that the sun is up when you get up in the morning. It can be unpleasant to wake up in the dark. First of all, it makes you feel tired. But more importantly, when the streets are covered in snow, and everything seems gray through the window, the last thing you want to do is to get out of bed. However, you can slightly tweak your morning routine to put yourself in the right mood with a light therapy alarm clock. Indeed, specialist clocks can help to recharge your energy through different levels of brightness, given you all the sunlight you need in the day!
Walk on happiness all day long
It’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference. Take your socks, for instance. They might seem irrelevant, but you’d be surprised by the impact that colorful and vibrant socks can have on your mind. Happy Socks, a Swedish company, was launched with a simple principle: Spread happiness with a stylish and often ignored item. After all, who would want black socks when you can have Paisley, dotted or even Beatles-inspired designs? Keeping their patterns creative and fun, Happy Socks have launched a footwear revolution that puts a smile on many faces. Follow their thought process and opt for colorful clothes in winter. A little bit of red, blue, green and yellow can go a long way!
Healthy meals make you smile
Ah, winter food. Pizza, Mac n’ cheese, and burgers oozing with cheese. Our idea of comfort food revolves around high fat and sugar content in winter. However, it’s a misconception to believe the typical comfort food will keep you satisfied. On the contrary, mood-boosting foods are not only healthy but equally delicious. Salmon, for instance, is the ideal go-to fish as its beneficial omega-3 fatty acids help to target depression and anxiety disorders. Dark leafy veggies keep you feeling positive all day. And vitamin C contained in bell peppers and tomatoes can active reduce emotional distress.
New decor, new you
Is your home interior designed to make you happy? While this might sound like an odd question, most people don’t pay enough attention to their decor and can, inadvertently, create a stressful space. Natural shades, for instance, can inject a sense of comfort and coziness – which you need when the weather is below freezing outside! Additionally, blue hues act as joyful accents in a room – it is the favorite color of 62% Americans – and remains on clear weather and water.
When you’re stuck indoors during the cold weather alert, you need to multiply your efforts to keep the harmful effects of seasonal affective disorders away. The last thing you want now is to be safe from the cold but depressed about the weather! Adding little touches of happiness at home, from signing up to a beer club to giving your living room a bright updated look can go a long way in keeping your happy this winter.