Five Ways to Beat Those Winter Blues
February may be the shortest month of the year, but it can feel like the longest! If beating the winter blues feels like a challenge this season, you’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to feel sunny long before the spring.
Getting That Heart Pumping!
We know, we know…it’s the same old advice everybody gives, but that’s because it works. Exercise releases endorphins – one of a group of “happy hormones” that promote feelings of well-being and pleasure. Exercise isn’t just a great way to get your body to feel good on a chemical level; it’s also a way to get fresh air, socialize, and get your mind off the blues, all things that can help you shake off a mid-winter funk. As a bonus, exercise is believed to promote better overall gut health, which can have wide-reaching positive effects on your mood and digestion!
Not into the gym? That’s not the only place you can move it:
- Hit the slopes for some skiing or snowboarding
- Strap on your skates and heading to your local ice rink
- Get a stretch on your mat at home or in a yoga studio
Beating the Winter Blues with Friends
It’s easy to feel a bit shut in in the winter. Sure, there are things to do, and places to go…but most of them involve putting on four layers and a clunky pair of boots, and trudging through sleet and snow with your teeth chattering.
Yes, it’s harder work to get out and see people in the winter, but it’s an important part of beating the winter blues. Socializing isn’t just a good way to overcome feelings of loneliness and isolation: it’s also beneficial for our memories and cognitive abilities, our overall quality of life, and even our longevity. Getting together with friends doesn’t have to be complicated: just get together for some gut-healthy food! According to the University of Oxford, people who socialize over food enjoy more happiness and satisfaction overall, so you’re getting the best of both worlds.
Trying New Things to Break Out of Old Patterns
Whether it’s a new hobby, a new show, or a new yoga pose, trying something new can be one of the most surefire ways to beat the blues. The best part? It doesn’t even have to be complicated!
You don’t have to become a virtuoso at the cello or learn to speak a new language before spring to enjoy some novelty: something as simple as trying a new recipe can have a positive effect on your well-being. Breaking out of routines can help us break out of negative patterns and ways of thinking, which can pave the way for us for new ones!
Want to try something new, and not sure where to start? Try these simple, health-forward ideas:
- Take a mental vacation with these five unique ways to unwind
- It’s never too late to set some new resolutions and goals!
- Explore new ways of experiencing food with some plant-based recipes!
Finding Something to Look Forward to
Winter can make you feel like there’s just no end in sight, and like the spring will never come…but trust us, it will! If it feels like the future is just an endless, dark flurry, remember that it’s not. Make a list of what you have to look forward to and set some goals, milestones, and activities that you can eagerly expect.
Having things to look forward to can help disrupt anxiety and increase feelings of optimism and control about the future. And just like learning new things, finding something to look forward to doesn’t have to be extreme or lofty; simply making a couple of bigger plans and a number of smaller plans can help. You can also identify small things to look forward to in your day-to-day life, whether it’s your morning coffee or your evening tea, to help you enjoy and focus on your routine.
Need some inspo? Here are our top ideas:
- Start planning a trip, down to the details
- Send out invites for your dream summer day – whether it’s an amusement park outing or a big picnic, get everyone in on the excitement!
- Sign up for a class, book club, or discussion group
Taking Care of Your Body and Your Gut
Finally, it’s important to take care of your body even when you might not feel like it. There’s nothing like a long, gray winter to make you want to stay in bed and eat junk food all day, but take it from us: not taking care of your gut is a recipe for feeling low, especially if you live with a digestive issue.
If you’re not feeling motivated to cook and eat gut-friendly foods, you don’t need to turn into a master chef overnight: using gut-friendly ingredients that pack all the flavor you need can kick-start your recipes and help you get out of a cooking rut.
Fody Foods’ bloat-free sauces, marinades, and oils are made with 100% gut-friendly ingredients, so you can enjoy without the worry. From shallot- and garlic-infused olive oils made with all the taste and none of the irritants, to salad dressings and seasonings that will dress up your daily dose of veggies, Fody has the go-to ingredients that will make eating a positive experience from now until Spring, and beyond.Taking care of yourself is the key to beating the winter blues and having a healthy gut all year-round! To learn more about cooking bloat-free foods at home, check out our products and recipes, and visit our blog for tips on living a gut-friendly lifestyle!