With winter rapidly approaching, the weather drops and skies look like they can’t hold any color beside grey – but don’t let that play a part in the way you feel this winter. Just because it looks miserable outside does not mean that you have to be to, and it doesn’t even require a trip to the Caribbean. An article published in Health Magazine incorporated an interview with Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor at the University of California, Riverside and author of The How of Happiness, who explained:“There are simple things you can do to stay positive. It’s important to keep your mood up because it can help you avoid everything from gaining extra pounds to feeling lethargic,” (The Secrets to a Super-Happy Winter, Health Magazine). Here are some other tips about how to keep your mood souring positively through these winter months:
First, it’s important that you socialize. This can be hard to do on days after a harsh night’s snowfall when the wind seems just a bit too nippy to tackle outdoors. But remember, this is what winter’s like and you can’t let it get to you. Socializing is an extremely beneficial way to lift your mood. Esther Sternberg, MD and author of The Balance Within, suggests:
“Instead of holing up in your house until spring, set aside some time each day for a ‘buddy moment,’ whether that’s grabbing a quick lunch with a co-worker or meeting your sister for a spinning class,” (The Secrets to a Super-Happy Winter, Health Magazine).
So next time you’re contemplating sitting on your couch and watching Christmas movies, fight the temptation to stay in and go see your friends or family.
Another good piece of advice that Health Magazine suggests to follow this winter is to resist eating too much fatty, sugary, comfort foods. Yes, we know it’s the holidays and there is no better time to make sugar cookies with your kids, or feast over pumpkin pie with you partner, but the fact of the matter is that you cannot eat this way for the whole winter. Holidays are exceptions, but just beware of how you feel after you indulge in these treats. Health Magazine notes that “highly refined carbs and sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar level, which can leave you feeling cranky,” (The Secrets to a Super-Happy Winter).
A last piece of advice to keep serotonin levels elevated for the winter would be to embrace the season. This is a time where you can find happiness ice skating on ponds, knitting warm blankets, and sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace. One of the most effective ways to stay happy is to actually be happy. So don’t dwell on the negative aspects of winter, focus on all the good things that come with it! Remember, you can only make snowmen if you have snow.
For more tips on how to gain and maintain a happy mood this winter season, read Health Magazine’s article here.