This time of year can be bleak, boring, and definitely cold. Getting out and about seems all but impossible with the frigid temps and whipping winds.
Each time the seasons change, we need to be reminded of fun activities we can do to keep busy this winter - even outdoors. We are Minnesotans, after all.
1. Get Your Vitamin D
Less sunshine means less vitamin D in the body, a critical vitamin not only for absorbing calcium and regulating the immune system, but one that has been linked to mood. Doctors in our climate recommend between 1,000 IU and 10,000 IU per day to bring vitamin D levels to normal. This also applies to children and infants, so pick up a bottle of chewable vitamin D tablets or liquid supplements for the little ones.
Psychologists (and fitness buffs alike) have seen a connection between exercise and improved mood. Raising your heart rate for 30 minutes a day releases dopamine and enhances mood, while practices like yoga and pilates can rejuvenate the body. Plus, you certainly won’t feel the winter chill when you’re in a heated, 80-degree yoga studio or cycling through a 60 minute spinning class! Try these mood-boosting exercise ideas to begin.
3. Stimulate Your Senses with Color and Music
Sometimes this time of the year gives people what they call “a case of the blahs.” So go the opposite of “blah” by wearing bright colors and listening (and moving) to upbeat music.
Color therapy expert Constance Hart says, “Color has an effect on our psyche, it’s always affecting us whether we are aware of it or not…In my work I try to help people move away from black because it can have a depressive quality to it.” You could also consider painting your office, purchasing some bright artwork, or swapping out your grey winter parka for a bright red one. It may just give your mood the boost you need.
Turn on your favorite playlists and sing or dance along to instantly feel lighter. The American Music Therapy Association finds that “music therapy programs can be designed to achieve goals such as managing stress, enhancing memory, and alleviating pain.” Whether your go-to jams are Mozart or Motown Philly, happy music can alleviate bad moods.
4. Watch for Warm(ish) Days and Get Outside
On those days where the temperature climbs and the sun shines, use the opportunity to get outside for a walk, a jog, or some winter ice skating or sledding. The fresh air, exercise, and sunlight are a trio of mood-boosting stimulants.
5. Simulate Dawn or Use a Light Box
Many people living in northern climates experience seasonal affective disorder, a yearly feeling of slight depression, tiredness, or winter blues. Combat this feeling with a light therapy lamp, like a happy light, which simulates sunlight and helps your general mood. Dawn simulators slowly turn up the light to naturally help you awaken during those darkest winter mornings.
The best way to combat the winter blues by letting us take the most undesirable winter task off your hands: shoveling and snow blowing. You don’t have to call us each time you need us; Ehlinger Lawn Service sends snow crews each time there’s a snow accumulation of 1” or more.
Pay one flat fee for the entire winter, and consider this crossed off your list. Now you can enjoy more time with friends and family and less time pacing your driveway pushing a shovel or snow blower.
We hope you find ways to not only get through but enjoy the winter months in Minnesota. Contact us to get help with your winter snow blowing so that you can spend more time enjoying the things you love, whether you’re in a red parka or not!