The dreary winter months can take a toll emotionally and physically, especially in areas where temperatures drop. For many, winter can be a time of more stress, lower energy, and feelings of lethargy, which is what some like to call a case of the “winter blues”.
What are the “Winter Blues”?
Some confuse the winter blues with seasonal affective disorder, but the two have their differences. The winter blues is a phrase used to describe feelings of sadness or lack of motivation during colder months and generally clears up on its own in a relatively short amount of time. An estimated 14-20% of American adults experience this degree of seasonal mood changes.
However, seasonal affective disorder is a clinical diagnosis related to shortening daylight hours resulting in a disruption to your body’s internal clock, also known as circadian rhythm. It is a form of depression related to the change in seasons and occurs at the same time every year. Typical treatments can include light therapy, psychotherapy, and medication.
How to Beat the Winter Blues: 4 Tips
While there is no specific medical treatment for winter blues, there are a few things you can do to lift your spirits when darker winter days dampen your spirits. Here are a couple of suggestions that might help:
1. Maintain a Regular Sleep Routine
The body’s natural circadian rhythm aligns with day and night. During the day, light exposure sends signals to the body to feel more alert helping to keep us awake and active. As night falls and it gets darker, the body begins to produce melatonin, a hormone that helps us fall asleep. A regular sleep schedule can help the body establish a circadian rhythm while keeping your mood more stable. Try to stay disciplined by waking up and falling asleep at the same time each day, even on weekends. Create a bedtime routine, which can help get your body ready for sleep. Lastly, remember to reduce lights and limit screen time at night.
2. Make Time for Daily Sunshine
People often downplay their need for natural sunlight. But a lack of light can deeply impact your mood and energy level. A decrease in sunlight can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms, and cause a drop in serotonin levels and Vitamin D levels, which can cause depressive symptoms. Carve out time in your day for a lunchtime walk outside—even if it's just a quick 30 minutes. Light therapy tools, like a sun lamp, can also help if sunshine is scarce in your area.
3. Keep Up with Exercise
Getting at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise around four times each week has been shown to reduce depressive moods. Some people enjoy working out at the gym. But if a gym membership isn’t in the cards there are other fun and easy ways to get fit at home, or around your neighborhood. There are countless free videos you can follow online with high-intensity training workouts for people at all stages of fitness. If you’d prefer something a little more relaxed, yoga is a great exercise that stretches your muscles and increases flexibility. Oftentimes yoga includes breathing exercises, which can help you relax and unwind after a long day. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before and after exercise.
4. Pay Attention to Nutrition and Hydration
The food you eat can affect how you feel during the day. Include protein for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to keep you full for longer and prevent your blood sugar from spiking. This will also help keep snacking and sugar cravings at bay. In addition to protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will ensure you’re receiving enough vitamins and nutrients. Finally, drinking water has a whole host of benefits including boosting performance and endurance during exercise, increasing energy and brain function, and aiding digestion.
Beat the Winter Blues with ZeroWater
While life gets busy and some of the tips mentioned above are easier said than done, something as small as staying hydrated can make a big difference in how you feel. It can be more difficult to drink cold water when the weather gets cold, but despite the chill, your body still needs plenty of water to function properly. Water doesn’t just keep you hydrated, it also helps to regulate body temperature and is essential to the function of cells, tissues, and organs.
ZeroWater makes drinking water a little easier with the best premium pour-through water filters We offer starter packs to help people get started. Starter packs include a pitcher or dispenser with a pack of replacement filters so they always have a replacement on hand.
But what sets ZeroWater apart from leading brands? Our premium 5-stage filter reduces total dissolved solids by 99.6% to provide the purest-tasting water. The ZeroWater 5-stage filter even comes with a free TDS meter so you can test it for yourself. If you prefer the convenience of drinking water straight from the tap, the ExtremeLife™ Faucet Mount is a perfect match. This filtration system might not be zero TDO, yet it is WQA Certified for the reduction of PFOA/PFOS, Chlorine, Particulates Class I. It also offers 400 gallons of water and lasts 4x longer than leading brands.
Staying hydrated during the winter can help keep you active and healthy and fight the winter blues. See how ZeroWater can help make drinking water easier today!