Do winter doldrums got you down? This time of year is when the blues can hit the hardest. And while many people turn to costly escapes, you can get the same results without spending a penny. De-stress for less with these totally free pick-me-ups.
Get off the couch and do some crunches, hit the treadmill and torch those calories. Or, bundle up and go for a jog outdoors. When you get moving, so do those feel-good endorphins.
Listen to some music
Music is strongly linked to our emotional state. Slow, classical music played at a low decibel level has a unique calming effect. If that’s not your thing, evoke the power of memory by listening to music that brings you back to a happier time and place.
Spend time with nature
Don’t spend all winter hunkered under a blanket, waiting for spring. Zip up your parka, grab a warm hat and embrace the cold! There’s nothing like fresh air to put the zing back in your step.
But it goes deeper than that. Research shows spending time surrounded by nature can improve your physical well-being, reduce blood pressure and muscle tension, and best of all, cut down on the production of stress hormones.
Laugh a little
Yes, a good laugh really is the best medicine. Next weekend, invite a friend over and binge-watch your favorite comedy show or sitcom. As you laugh, your tension will slowly melt away.
Learn a new skill
Boost your confidence and get an instant pick-me-up by learning something new. You can find a DIY tutorial on YouTube for practically any hobby or skill you can dream up. Become an origami expert, learn a new language, crochet the warmest blanket or take up pottery.
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Pet your pooch
Scientific evidence proves stress levels in humans decrease when petting a furry friend. Give your pet a little extra love when you’re stressed and you may feel the stress slowly fade away. If you don’t own a pet, visit an animal rescue center and spend time with the animals there. You might even come home with a new four-legged friend.
Soak up some sun
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that makes people feel blue during winter months when days are short and sunlight is scarce.
Kick SAD this winter by soaking in as much sunshine as you can. Open the shades to let the sunlight in while you work and try to squeeze in an early-morning walk each day so you’re spending time outdoors while the sun is still up.
Don’t let the winter blues bust your budget. Instead of spending money on expensive and unhealthy escapes, beat the blues with our helpful hacks.