Lighting up a room during winter’s cold, dark hours is as simple as flipping a switch. But brightening your mood? For many people, there’s no easy solution to overcoming Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — also known as the “winter blues” — which can leave them sad, lethargic, and disinterested in the things they normally enjoy. Fortunately if you’re having trouble keeping your spirits up until the spring thaw, we have tips to give your mood a boost. Best of all, they’re also environmentally responsible — which by itself should make you feel positive about the impact you can have. So, let’s explore a few sustainable strategies to brighten your winter days.
Embrace hygge at home
Danes have conquered the winter blues with ease, so look no further than to one of the happiest countries in the world — Denmark. The term “hygge” is used in Denmark to explain the concept of coziness, mindfulness, and creating warm spaces. So, when you’re at home and looking for ways to boost your mood, take a few cues from The Little Book of Hygge. Light a few soy-wax candles to create a warmer space, turn on relaxing tunes or a feel-good movie, and enjoy some freshly-baked treats and hot cocoa. Hygge is all about the little things that make an experience cozy and inviting. Also, hygge is often aligned with quality time with friends or family. So, invite some people over, gather together under a throw blanket, and play a few board games to help beat the winter blues.
Speaking of breaking a sweat, moving your body is another great way to manage Seasonal Affective Disorder. Incorporate eco-conscious workouts to your daily or weekly routine this winter. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, or ice skating in natural settings. Engaging in sustainable exercises helps to naturally lift your mood while also promoting a healthier lifestyle and appreciation for nature. So, bundle up and let the cold weather know that it won’t keep you inside.
If you’ve joined the January gym rush, remember that your exercise apparel will be bearing the brunt of the wear and tear of those workouts—and if not cared for properly, they’ll last about as long as most New Year resolutions do. So, follow these essential tips for washing workout clothes.
Take advantage of natural light
Natural light is limited during winter, so maximize your exposure by spending time outside when the sun is out. Even on cloudy days, natural light will help regulate mood and improve energy levels. Take a wintry walk, practice yoga in your backyard, or enjoy a cup of tea outside to soak in sunlight, which stimulates the production of serotonin, boosting your mood. It’s an easy way to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Add some greenery to your space
Just because nature looks dull and lifeless outside your window, your home doesn’t have to. Brighten your indoor spaces by introducing new houseplants. Not only do they add a touch of greenery, but certain plants also purify the air, creating a healthier environment. Consider low-maintenance options like snake plants, pothos, or peace lilies to bring a touch of nature into your home sustainably. These plants don’t need a lot of sunlight, so they’re ideal for the winter months.
Practice sustainable self-care rituals
With a few adjustments, your daily self-care ritual can become one of the most enjoyable parts of your day. All you need are some essential oils and some mindfulness. Try incorporating aromatherapy into your morning or nightly skincare routine to help boost your mood or relax you. Peppermint is an intoxicating choice for energizing your body while lavender is ideal for winding down. As you cleanse your face and body, allow this time to be a moment of mindfulness. Soon enough your routine will become something you look forward to rather than a chore. Another way to beat the winter blues is to embrace at-home spa days. Turn on calming music, make DIY face masks, and pamper yourself.
Visit a sauna
If you have access to a sauna spa, take advantage. Sweating it out can be beneficial to both your physical and mental well-being. Saunas improve circulation, de-stress the body, help with muscle recovery, and improve skin health — all of which can help relieve seasonal depression. Just remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting sauna sessions, particularly if you have pre-existing health conditions or are pregnant. Make sure you drink plenty of water before and after your visit as well.
Connect with your community and volunteer
Embrace winter as an opportunity to help out in your community. Whether it’s an animal shelter, food pantry, or another organization supporting a helpful cause, participating in local initiatives can build a sense of belonging and purpose. It also positively impacts one’s mental well-being while sustainably contributing to community welfare. So, why not get out there and make a difference?
Book a staycation
Fight the winter blues by having something to look forward to. Perhaps you might like to spend the weekend in an eco-friendly cabin nearby, book a spa treatment at a sustainable establishment, or spend the day in a nearby city or town. Any little thing that will help boost your mood is something worthwhile.
If you decide to embark on a more expansive journey, be sure to pack SaltyLama’s eco-friendly laundry sheets in the pocket of your suitcase. The biodegradable packaging is lightweight, slender, and hardly takes up any space. Not only is it a green-minded way to do laundry on the go, but if you’re visiting friends or family, you can encourage them to ditch the plastic and toxins of regular detergent for this sleek, sustainable alternative.
With the winter season in full swing, integrating these eco-friendly tips into your daily routine can lift your spirits while minimizing your environmental footprint. Beat the winter blues sustainably and make the most of the colder months!