How to Beat the Winter Blues

January 23, 2020

The combined effects of dreary winter weather and the return to work after the holidays can take a toll on your overall well-being. Mentally, you feel the pressure to start the year off on a positive note. Emotionally, fewer hours of sunshine can impact your mood. Physically, colder temperatures and snowy weather can leave you housebound when you’d normally be active outside. It can all add up to a general feeling of melancholy, and sometimes Seasonal Affective Disorder.

But you don’t have to dread winter! By making some small adjustments and embracing the wonder that can be found in these colder months, you’ll find it easier to stay on top of your day-to-day and feel like your complete self. Here are some tips for beating winter blues and making the most of this magical season.

Eat Well

Spring Quinoa Salad

It’s easier said than done transitioning from the overindulgence of the holidays, but the sooner you can get back to a healthier diet, the sooner your mood will improve. Studies have shown there’s a direct link between a healthy diet and good mental health. Stock your kitchen with foods that mirror a Mediterranean diet, like olive oil, yogurt, cheese, nuts, whole grains, seafood, and lean red meats, plus plenty of fruits and veggies. 

For when that comfort food craving kicks in, try this healthy, hearty soup recipe courtesy of our Chef Stephane’s own grandma.

Get Outside

Bluffs Scenic Hike

Depending on where you live, this might be easier said than done once snow starts falling, but making an effort to get out when the weather cooperates will certainly pay off. Time spent outdoors reduces stress and depression, and improves sleep. 

Think about the times you spend at work, or commuting to and from. Where can you make a small change to fit in a 15-30 minute walk? Maybe it’s actually taking your lunch and breaking free from your desk to walk a few blocks, or arriving to work a bit earlier to walk from where you park, or getting off a few stops before your destination if you take public transit. 

When you visit us, don’t miss our morning hikes that take you to the heart of lush Texas Hill Country. Explore them all on our activity calendar.

Get the Right Amount of Vitamin D

If you feel as though your moods are inconsistent and you just don’t feel like you, you may be lacking in Vitamin D if you live in a more northerly locale. Depending on where you live, winter means a 2-4 hour delay in sunrise times, enough to throw off your circadian rhythms, and impact your mood and energy level.

Start with a daily liquid or capsule supplement, but if you’re still finding it extra hard to get out of bed on a dark morning, a sun lamp can mimic the sun’s beneficial rays. Starting your morning with 30 minutes of exposure is enough to jump start your internal clock and get your day started on the right foot.

Get to the Water

Blue Mind Meditate

Getting outside is good, but getting to the water? Even better. Being near water and the ionized air around it supports the production of serotonin and melatonin, which are well-being boosters and help you fall asleep. Even just the sounds of water can have an almost-immediate calming effect. Try this playlist out while you get ready for bed.

At Lake Austin Spa Resort we embrace Dr. Wallace J. Nichols’ Blue Mind Theory—the idea that proximity to water can make you more fulfilled and successful in your personal and professional life. Through our water-focused activities and events, and aquatic spa specialties, it’s easy to discover these benefits for yourself. Learn more about living your best lake life here.

Get Cozy with Hygge

Spa 13

Pronounced hue-guh, it’s the Danish word that acknowledges a feeling or moment—either out or at home, alone or with friends, ordinary or extraordinary—as cozy, charming, or memorable. It’s about appreciating the simple things, putting substance over style, and soaking in your surroundings. 

So light a candle or the fireplace, make a cup of cocoa (natural cocoa has a host of heart benefits), and settle in with a good book. You’ll look forward to the ritual, and feel those winter blues wash away.

Of course the best way to beat those blues is to plan a winter vacation with us! Explore our offers and packages, and find the perfect experience where wellness meets the water at Lake Austin Spa Resort.