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7 ways to beat the winter blues

Fight the winter blues with hygge

As many as 1 in 5 Canadians get the winter blues. Lack of sunlight and bone-chilling temperatures can depress your mood and sap your energy. In short, winter can leave you feeling tired and isolated.

So why not fight the winter blues with some Danish inspiration? Denmark has long, dark winters too, yet it ranks as one of the happiest countries in the world. Danes survive their long, dark winters thanks to hygge, which roughly translates to cosiness and wellbeing. Hygge is about enjoying the simple things in life with family and friends, and it’s a great way to beat the winter blues.

7 tips to make the most of winter

Canadian winters can be highly enjoyable if we give them a chance. Here are 7 ideas for conquering the winter blues so you can enjoy a healthier, happier winter. 

1. Embrace the hygge experience

Hygge is all about enjoying simple pleasures like curling up on a cozy sofa with a good book in front of a roaring fire, sharing a winter meal with loved ones over soft candlelight, or listening to your favourite music while baking something delicious.

Danes see hibernation as an indulgence, not a punishment. So why not take a page out of their book and create a cozy, comfortable atmosphere in your home? Think fluffy pillows, warm blankets and soft colours. You can embrace the hygge experience by making your home into a restful retreat for you and your loved ones.

2. Make time for friends and family

You’re busy and tired but spending time with the people who are important to you can really raise your mood. There’s nothing like chatting and laughing over a drink or a meal—that’s hygge too!

3. Let in the sunshine

Sunlight helps your brain produce serotonin, a chemical that acts as a natural antidepressant. So get outside whenever you can. Go for walks or jogs on bright sunny days, and dress warmly so the cold won't discourage you.

4. Get outside and get active

Increasing your physical activity could do wonders for your mood. Start a morning exercise routine that includes outdoor activity. Do what you enjoy, whether that’s skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowshoeing or just a winter walk. Use your imagination to add a new flavour to your winter workout regimen.

5. Plan a local escape

In Scandinavian countries, it’s a common tradition to plan a winter getaway. Why not incorporate the same idea into our Canadian winters? We live in a winter wonderland. For some inspiration, read up on great winter getaways across Canada—especially ones that are off the beaten path, like Northern Ontario, Quebec and Alberta.

6. Eat well

Take care of yourself by eating nutritious meals. Get creative with seasonal produce to make healthy, comforting stews and soups. Vitamin supplements might also help your mood. Vitamin D deficiency is common in winter due to lack of sunlight. It can result in lethargy and low mood. Deficiencies in nutrients such as B12, and folate can also produce symptoms of depression. It might be helpful to get tested to find out if you are low in any of these vitamins. Also, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil might improve mood.

7. Get help

Is your mood dipping along with the temperature outside? Winter can take its toll, but the cure might just be the right combination of sunshine, exercise and supplements. If your negative feelings persist, it’s important to speak to a medical professional.

To conquer the winter blues, try to stay active, eat nutritiously, pursue new interests, and stay connected with friends and loved ones. It might just make all the difference this winter.

For more on this topic, visit:

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7 ways to beat the winter blues

It’s cold, the days are short, and all you want to do is crawl under the covers with a box of chocolate chip cookies. Sound familiar? You’re not alone! Here are 7 ways to beat the winter blues and stay positive in the coldest months of the year.

The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories.

The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.