Feeling gloomier than usual during the winter is not uncommon. Overcast skies and freezing temperatures can take a toll on a person’s mental health. Staying cheerful and optimistic in the winter can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. If you can’t seem to shake off your winter blues, try the following tips to give your mental wellness a boost. Get some sun Serotonin, commonly referred to as the “happy chemical,” serves many functions, including stabilizing mood and regulating sleep. A lack of natural light can cause serotonin levels to drop, and low serotonin levels are associated with depression. For this reason, many people—even those who have not been diagnosed with a mental health condition—experience sadness and loss of interest in fun activities during the grey winter months. On bright days, take a walk around your neighborhood and soak up the rays. If you have to stay indoors, get as much natural light as you can. Draw the curtains or pull up the blinds to let the sun in and sit near windows. If your area doesn’t get a lot of sunlight in the winter, you can ask your doctor whether a light therapy box is a good option for you. A light therapy box produces light similar to natural sunlight. It’s thought to improve mood by triggering the production of serotonin. Work out regularly Exercising increases serotonin levels, resulting in a better mood and improving overall mental health. If going out for a run in subzero temperatures is less than appealing to you, consider martial arts classes. Training in martial arts gets your blood pumping and gives your spirits a much-needed lift during the winter. Apart from providing mental health benefits, taking martial arts classes improves cardiovascular fitness and increases strength. To learn more about martial arts and how it can help improve your mental wellness during the winter months, get in touch with Aplomb Martial Arts.