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Dear Sofia… January Edition

Dear Sofia, 

How can I get over the winter blues?

Sincerely, Having a Blue Christmas


November to March can be difficult every year. It’s cold, gray, and the lack of sunlight can cause fatigue and feelings of sadness. However, there are multiple ways to help remedy this.


1.) Keep Active

Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day can help improve your mood as well as relieve fatigue. It can help strengthen your bones and muscles, which is especially important during the winter months when most people stay immobile inside. It will also help your cardiovascular endurance, which will give you more energy to tackle daily chores. Exercise naturally causes your brain to increase happy chemicals like endorphins and serotonin which will help relieve gloomy feelings that are prominent during winter.


2.) Get Outside

Exposing yourself to light is a great way to combat the winter blues because it will increase serotonin levels in your body. Putting on warm clothes and going on a 20-minute walk is a great way to boost your endorphins as well as exercise your body. If going outside isn’t an option, sit by a window whenever you can! Sunlight will increase your Vitamin D levels, improving bone and cellular health. A decrease in sunlight disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm, so regularly being exposed to sunlight will relieve fatigue and increase your energy levels.


3.) Stay Busy

Keeping your mind active by finding a new hobby or doing daily tasks can help beat the symptoms of the winter blues. Scheduling times to work on something you enjoy, like a passion project or hobby will give you something to look forward to, and creating and working off of a manageable to-do list can give you a sense of accomplishment. Ultimately, keep yourself busy during the winter months with things that are enjoyable and motivational


4.) Eat the Right Foods

Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will give you vitamins and nutrients that are crucial during the winter! But drinking a hot mug of hot chocolate can be just as effective. Not only is it a delicious treat, but when combined with milk, it can be a great source of carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin D, all of which can increase serotonin levels! Drinking cocoa before bed can also help prepare you for sleep. In addition, fish are a great source of omega-3 and can help boost your mood, and eggs contain choline which can help regulate nerve function and metabolism, therefore keeping energy levels stable.


5.) See Friends and Family

Make sure you spend time with your loved ones during the winter! Being with those we love is great for mental health and can be a source of happiness during these gray months. Set up a movie night (maybe a comedy, as laughter is the best medicine), a small dinner party, or a game nightanything that isn’t stressful to plan and invite your loved ones to help lighten the winter mood. 


Ultimately, the winter months can be hard. But spending time with friends and family and keeping yourself busy with tasks you enjoy can be key to combating the winter blues! So, make that to-do list, find a new hobby, and have some friends over, and I think you’ll find that even with a lack of sunlight, winter can be just as bright. 


Best wishes, 


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