5 Quick Energy-Efficient Tips to Combat the Winter Blues

Bundled up woman outside in the snow

Sometimes called the ‘winter blues’, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can make you want to binge watch TV, turn up the heat, and waste some serious energy. Ever on the lookout for making better use of our resources, here are some energy-efficient ways to beat SAD and feel great at the same time:

1. Exercise:

Not only does exercise increase your metabolism, heart rate, and lighten your mood, but 30 minutes of activity a day in the winter months can warm you up and potentially get you outside—two things that reduce thermostat creep.

2. Get outside:

Outdoor light and fresh air can work wonders on your physiology while reducing the energy drain on your home. When you’re active outside, dopamine and serotonin levels (key hormones for beating the blues) are increased. Plus, if you’re outside, you are also not using additional electricity in your home. A brisk walk through the park, walking the dog, even building a snowman can really reboot your system.

3. Use a sun lamp:

Being outside is great for the fresh air and natural light, but what if you can’t get out until after it’s dark? Sun lamps and light therapy can be extremely effective in countering SAD. But be sure to keep an eye out for energy-efficient models to avoid burning a lot of power for only a little amount of light. Also, take time to read the labels on your lights before using them – light therapy is powerful stuff.

4. Take a trip:

Mixing up your daily activities can do wonders for mental health. Try taking a yoga class, begin painting, or rotate cooking dinners at a friend’s house. If your budget allows, take a vacation to a warm, sunny climate. Any change in lifestyle shifts the amount of energy you use. By getting out, you also reduce the amount of energy being used at your home.

5. Sleep:

Getting ample rest is crucial to ensuring good health. Not to mention, you’re not using as much of your home’s energy when you’re in dreamland: your lights are off, the heat is steady, and appliances are idle. Longer nights typically make our circadian rhythms crave more shut-eye anyway—so take the cue from your body and turn in early this winter.