As the weather gets dreary and the days are shorter, many people may find themselves low on motivation with a classic case of the winter blues. During these cold months, it’s easy to just curl up under your blanket after a day at the office. However, this may be less of a comfort than you realize.

Lack of activity during the winter can lower your overall mood. In some cases, it could even lead to seasonal affective disorder, also known as “SAD”. This condition can lower your concentration at work and make you less energetic. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can keep your spirits up during the chilly season.

Here are Four Simple Ways to Avoid the Winter Blues

1. Meditation

Studies have shown that meditation can help you concentrate and improve your emotional health significantly. Envision a beach or a warm afternoon at your local park. As you do so, give yourself affirmations that the winter season won’t last forever. You can come up with your own mantra or find numerous guided meditation videos on sites like YouTube.

The best part about meditation is that it can be done pretty much anywhere. You can easily do it at your desk or even on the commute to work. If you need a more private place, try to give yourself at least 10 minutes before work to meditate. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day with a positive mindset.

 

2. Exercise

Most of us fall behind on our exercise routines in the winter. Hazardous weather like snow and ice can prevent you from taking morning jogs. Thankfully, your local gym has treadmills and is usually open late into the night. Staying in shape will keep your sadness away and burn off those delicious holiday leftovers.

If you can’t make it to the gym, you can still do yoga or other light exercises right from your living room floor. If the sun is out, bundle up and take a walk outside. Nature won’t be as lively as the warmer months, but some may find the glistening snow and the crisp air to be refreshing! You’ll also be getting a well-needed dose of Vitamin D.

 

3. Caring for Plants

Plants are a welcome addition to any home or office. They naturally absorb carbon dioxide, creating more clean air for us to breathe. This keeps you more motivated and focused on your job. One study found that the addition of plants increased workplace productivity by 15%.

The simple act of nurturing a plant can also improve your mood. Having plants in your own home also allows you to use them for other purposes. For example, if you have a peppermint plant, you can use the sprigs for hot chocolate or coffee.

 

4. Keeping Yourself Busy

If you’re easily saddened by cold weather, it’s important to stick to a schedule. While it’s tempting to sleep in on your days off, doing too much of it can make you feel sluggish. Try to wake up at the same time each morning and keep your day filled with activities. These can anything from cleaning, reading a book, or going out with friends. Less idle thoughts mean less opportunity for the winter blues to creep in!

If you need a break from the ordinary, try attending a winter festival. These events often include delicious food, winter games, and even live performances. Making new memories at these events can keep you from dreading the winter season each year.

 

If your case of the winter blues gets too severe, it’s best to go see your doctor for more options. However, in most cases, these simple lifestyle changes can help you break out of your funk and enjoy the season. In fact, you may even start looking forward to winter!