Despite the holiday rush, many people may find that winter is the roughest season to get through. The cold months can get long and dreary, and the shorter days and longer nights are a downer for lots of people. According to Psychiatry.org, over 5% of Americans can suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for about 40% of the year, most commonly during the winter. 

This, and a host of other reasons, can make winter a dreaded season for a lot of people. However, that doesn't mean that these months have to be a waste. In a previous article, we talked about ‘Your Game Plan for Staying Fit This Holiday Season’, and how it’s still possible to keep your focus on the road to fitness. If you want to add a little light and warmth into your life during the winter, then here are a few more simple and easy tips for brightening up that cold weather. 

Light Exercise 

Getting your body up and moving might seem like a tall order, especially if you just want to spend your time in bed, but it's not as hard as you think. Even light exercise, done for a few minutes each day, can do wonders for your mental and physical health. 

If you aren't up for a jog in cold weather, NBC News has a few indoor workouts that you can do to keep yourself warm and pumped. Try jumping on a trampoline for a few minutes each day, or do some yoga during your downtime. You're sure to see the benefits before the season is out. 

Better Diet 

Diet has long been linked to mental health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, winter isn't exactly the season of plenty, and it can be a little hard finding fresh, healthy food to get you through the cold months. But even if finding a summer treat seems impossible during this season, there are still ways to make sure that you're getting the nutrition you need. 

Try experimenting with meals using winter vegetables like roots and yams. If going to the farmer's market isn't possible during the winter, then think about going the supplement route. Supplements can help you get the nutrition that you need even when you're cooped up in the house. For example, Brightcore has a vitamin D3 supplement that will not only prevent cardiovascular issues and promote healthier lungs and bones, but will also boost your mood and get you through the coldest months of the year. 

Weekly Check-ins 

Dealing with the double pressure of a global pandemic and the winter months can be a bit of a downer on anybody. It's important, however, to ensure that you aren't hibernating on your own, away from social contact. Sure, getting that me time is important, but when you're stuck at home that can quickly devolve into feelings of loneliness. 

NPR has put together a list of some helpful tips for socializing during the winter. You can choose to bundle up well and get outside for some active family time, or go the digital route with Zoom calls or messages. You can even try putting together a shared memories project with your loved ones to reconnect and find out what truly matters to each other. The weather outside may be freezing, but that doesn't mean your heart has to be, too. 

Rest 

Finally, one of the best things you can do for yourself during the winter is to recognize when it's time to slow down. After a long, hard year, sometimes the wintertime is the best period to recharge for the warmer months. This doesn't mean going into full isolation, but instead means that you should be taking the time to rest and reflect when you need it. 

Writer Beth Bruno has a few strategies for making the winter months a period of rest and renewal. These include ensuring you're getting enough light, whether through lamps or winter sunshine, as well as keeping warm and playing your favorite music. During the hustle and bustle of a busy year, it can be hard to find time to recharge your batteries, and winter is perfect for that. If nature is taking this time to renew itself and regenerate, you should be, too.