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16 Ideas to Help Prevent SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) this Winter

I have to admit—I’ve been feeling down lately. The colder, shorter days (the sheer AUDACITY of the sun clocking out at 4:30, I mean, come ON! General work/life/money/family stuff is also doing a number on my mood (not to mention, you know, the ongoing global pandemic). ⁣

This time of year is always a little heavy, and this year, that heaviness is very pronounced. If you’re going through it, I’m sending love. I hope this list helps you prevent SAD—let me know in the comments what you would add to this list.

Keep Your Gut Happy

Eat cooked soups and stews to nurture your gut health (a happy gut massively contributes to good mental health).

Enhance Your Greens

growing indoor herbs

Grow a few herbs (cilantro, basil, mint) inside so you can still see green every day and enjoy a pop of freshness in every dish.

Write It Out

woman sitting down to write in a notebook

Take an online class you’ll look forward to, like Spanish or writing.

Get Cozy

laying on bed with comfy socks, a dog and a book

Buy one small thing that will delight you on the colder days, whether it’s cozy socks or a tie-dye sweatshirt.

Get Your Market On

winter farmers market

Don’t stop going to the farmer’s market! It’s one of the safest places to shop, and you can use it to get excited about all of the fun new produce as it comes into season (hello persimmons!).

Get Some Rays

lightbox on counter to help prevent SAD

Use a lightbox for 30 mins a day 🌞.

Reach Out

closeup of cellphone

Call a different far away friend or relative every week.

Get Outside

liz moody hiking in sedona az

Bundle up and try to move your body outside at least once a week. Are there winter hikes in your area?

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

spotify logo

Every day, play one song from the “best 90s pop songs” Spotify playlist and dance around wildly until it’s over

Get Together

popcorn

Cultivate community—yes it’s possible even during a pandemic. Start a Zoom book club or even a weekly movie club where you watch together and discuss after! Just make sure whatever you do is regularly scheduled so you don’t have to plan.

Get Cooking

healthier together cookbook by liz moody
Healthier Together cookbook is available here

Pick a cookbook, and then cook your way through every recipe of it.

Walk It Out

liz moody walking outside in nature

Go for a walk first thing in the morning. Just 15 mins outside before 10 am helps regulate your circadian rhythm!

Take Some Rays

Take a Vitamin D supplement.

New Rituals

Add a new ritual or hobby to your life, whether it’s an obnoxiously lengthy pour-over coffee routine or learning to knit.

Check Your Schedule

sun

Try to match your schedule to the sun as much as possible, even if it means waking up earlier and going to bed earlier to in those am rays.

Slow Down

curled up reading a good book

Lean into the slowing down of winter. Read more books. Take baths. Enjoy the hibernation of the season.

Get Healthier Together

If you like these recipes, you’ll LOVE my new cookbook, Healthier Together.


Featuring 100+ recipes, including Actually Delicious Green Detox Soup to healthy Fun Size Snickers Bars and The Best Healthy Chocolate Chip cookies, and an entire “Fast, Cheap, & Easy” section devoted to weeknight meals, this is a cookbook that makes it easy to get healthier—and more importantly, happier.

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Or get your copies at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

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