Boost Your Mood During the Winter
Winter isn’t the easiest of times to stay positive and in a good mood. On one hand, I feel more freedom because I don’t have to worry about the effects of summer heat. On the other hand, the days are longer, darker, and we’re simply not out and about connecting with others as easily.
Knowing this – and that living with MS may make us susceptible to feelings of sadness and depression – I do my best to support my emotional health as best as possible during the winter months. Personally, I think it’s important for all of us to do – MS or not – year-round, but it definitely deserve extra attending during the winter.
Social connections are important for our overall health and wellbeing. It’s not as easy in the middle of winter when we’re dealing with frigid temperatures, snowstorms, or icy walkways. So, we certainly need to be smart and safe, but this is a time that we may have to get creative.
I use voice messaging a lot in an app called Voxer to stay connected to friends that I can’t always see in person. It allows us to hear each other’s voices, which I love, but not have to do the in-person meet-ups.
FaceTime can also be really helpful for this, with of course the added perk of seeing the person “face-to-face.”
And I would be remiss if I didn’t give some love to this community here! We may not think of it as being “social,” but this is a great way for us to connect with people who get our reality of living with MS.
Lightening up on the sweets
Okay, I’ll be honest, this is my least favorite strategy, but I have to mention it because it makes a difference for me.
It’s tempting to reach for the sweet treats when we’re bored, lonely, or in a bad mood. But you know what doesn’t put me in the “sweetest” of moods… sugar.
It can be such a trap.
We reach for it thinking that it will bring us some pleasure and joy. And while it may do that temporarily, the moment is so fleeting that we may very quickly find ourselves back in a slump.
So, I do my best to remember this outcome and therefore try to have healthier snacks options. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not always easy in the beginning, but it’s always worth it. I continually remind myself, “nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.”
Staying consistent with supplements
Last but not least, I do my best to stay consistent with my supplements, especially those that will support mood and energy. I especially lean on omega 3 (fish oil), b complex, vitamin D, and enzyme CoQ10.
There are certainly lots of other supplements too, but these are my go-to’s.
Learning from our collective knowledge
This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list. I’m simply sharing some of the strategies that I use to support my overall health, in hopes that they may spark some ideas or inspiration for you. I would love to learn from you as well.
What do you find to be helpful to boost your mood in the winter?
Were you misdiagnosed with something else before receiving a MS diagnosis?