Overcome your winter blues in 5 steps

01 March 2024

As we approach the shortest day of the year, sunlight dwindles, temperatures plummet, and even snowflakes might appear. While some find comfort in cozy evenings by the fire, others experience a significant dip in mood. Feeling low, tired, or unmotivated during these shorter days? You might be experiencing the “winter blues.” This blog explains what it is and offers practical tips to navigate this period in a positive light.

Overwin je winterdip in 5 stappen

Understanding the winter blues

Shorter autumn and winter days mean less natural sunlight exposure, impacting the production of various hormones in your body. Daylight triggers the release of cortisol, which keeps you alert. Less daylight leads to less cortisol, making you feel sleepy.

Furthermore, decreased sunlight often leads to vitamin D deficiency, vital for a strong immune system. Additionally, sunlight fuels the production of serotonin, the "happiness hormone," which regulates mood and sleep. Serotonin also converts into melatonin, the sleep hormone, in the evening. This explains why the lack of light in winter often disrupts sleep and negatively affects mood.

Winter self-care tips

Prioritize self-care during winter. If you experience fatigue, irritability, low energy, or changes in sleep or eating patterns, consider the possibility of the winter blues and actively seek sunlight. Additionally, maintaining regular exercise and social connections is crucial, as these activities also promote mood-regulating hormones. 

Here are 5 tips to help you combat the winter blues:

  1. Embrace the morning light: take a short walk between 8 am and 9 am. This early morning light is rich in blue light, which helps regulate melatonin production and wake you up naturally.
  2. Make the most of indoor light: if you stay indoors more often or work from home, find a sunny spot near a window to maximize natural light exposure in your environment.
  3. Plan social activities: organize activities with friends or family, whether it's cozying up indoors or embracing the winter scenery outdoors. Planning these moments in advance gives you something to look forward to, boosting your mood alongside the social connection itself.
  4. Maintain a regular sleep schedule: go to bed and wake up around the same time each day, regardless of the season. This promotes quality sleep and keeps your energy levels stable throughout the day.
  5. Engage your mind and spirit: stimulate your creativity by indulging in relaxing activities you enjoy. If your usual hobbies are difficult to maintain in winter, find alternatives or explore something new!

Remember, many people experience the impact of the darker months on their mood. Implementing these tips can help you lessen the effects of the winter blues. However, if symptoms persist and your mood doesn't improve, consider seeking professional help from a psychologist, therapist, or your doctor. They can offer personalized advice and support. BloomUp offers online consultations with psychologists and therapists, accessible anytime, anywhere.