The further north you are, the easier it is to see that winter is coming. If you live in the UK or Ireland, you’re probably used to the gloomy weather that rolls in when winter arrives. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that you’re always mentally prepared for it. As a matter of fact, many people around the world suffer from ‘winter depression’ otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder. However, beating winter depression can be much easier with a healthy hobby that keeps both your body and mind going.
Scientists attribute seasonal affective disorder, in part, to a lack of serotonin in the mind. Serotonin is the chemical in our brains that is responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness. While studies suggest that serotonin levels may be connected to the level of light our eyes receive, there are other ways to unlock this happy chemical. Doing exercise, eating, and taking natural supplements are simple ways to boost your serotonin levels. Let’s take a look at some healthy hobbies that can help your increase serotonin in the winter time.
Healthy Hobbies to Take Up This Winter
Ordering a takeaway and binge-watching a new show on Netflix may make you feel nice for a short while, but it won’t work all winter. Here are a few healthy hobbies to boost your winter morale long term.
Experiment with Cooking
Eating makes us feel good and releases serotonin in our brains, making us instantly happy. Of course, overeating can have adverse effects on your health. Therefore, cooking is a great way to combine the acts of learning about food and eating it, too. Trying out new recipes in the kitchen can be great fun for the whole family. BBC has put together some lovely recipes for parents and children to cook together. Once all the hard work is over, you can enjoy the delicious fruit of your cooking labour.
Exercise in all forms is not only good for staying in shape, but it also makes you happy. Doing exercise causes your brain to release serotonin, making you feel happier and healthier at the same time. In the cold and dark winter months staying active will allow you to beat that nasty winter depression. Whether its with yoga, swimming, dancing, or any other exercise you enjoy, be sure to get moving and keep moving. Of course, no one will judge you if you snooze through a class or two, but remember to stay as active as possible.
Learn a New Language
Perhaps not everyone is a fan of studying, but plenty of people will tell you that learning a language helped them fight depression. Since learning a language takes practice and dedication, even the smallest advancement feels like a huge accomplishment. When we feel good about ourselves that can improve our mood and raise the serotonin levels in our brain. As technology continues to evolve, there are increasingly more cost-effective ways to learn a language. Apps like Duolingo, Memrise, Babbel, and Mindsnacks can even make learning a new language fun.
Try Your Hand at Soapmaking
Although crafting is an ideal way to unleash your creativity and keep your mind from stagnation, it has its downsides . Most of the time, when we craft, we simply create something that will sit on a wall, table, or desk and never be used. Granted that sometimes, that’s totally normal, but wouldn’t it be nice to make something you knew you were going to use? That’s where soapmaking comes in.
Soapmaking has to be one of the most rewarding hobbies you can take up in the winter months. Depending on the method you use, you can make soaps by yourself or with friends and family. Furthermore, you can get creative with the soap you make, alternating the additives to create soaps of different colours, smells, and textures. Not to mention that you can give soaps as gifts to friends and family or even create a micro-business by selling soaps in markets. You can also make soap to clean your home with, thereby saving money, repurposing ingredients from your kitchen, and boosting your serotonin levels along the way.
Whatever hobby you decide to take up this winter, we hope that it keeps you busy and happy! If you’re interested in taking up soapmaking, you can learn more about WapoBeauty’s recently updated soapmaking eBook here. Although WapoBeauty’s Soapmaking Workshop for Beginners happening later this month is full, this eBook is an excellent way for those who didn’t make it into the class to learn about soapmaking. In this eBook, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for cold process soapmaking, different soap formulas, helpful tips on where to find your materials, and learn about all the benefits of soapmaking.
ABOUT OUR BLOGGER
Ashuni Pérez is an American writer based in Valencia, Spain. She has a passion for natural beauty and the environment. Ashuni loves to cycle and drink smoothies in the sun. Follow her on Instagram at @ashuuuuni