SAD? Us too.

Create a wellness routine at home. 

SAD season is upon us. With shorter, colder days come a slew of blah vibes, known more formally as Seasonal Affective Disorder. And if you relate, you’re far from alone—up to 20% of adults experience some time of the winter blues.

If you have big expectations for the new year, but your energy levels are at an all time low, SAD may be to blame, but a few small shifts can help you thrive right through it. First of all, forget resolutions. Shift away from unrealistic expectations and into a true wellness mindset with routines to help you feel your best right at home. No goals, no pressure. Just what feels best for you.

Not sure where to start? We have a few ideas.

During the winter—especially during this strange, socially distanced winter—people typically spend more time indoors, but we know being outdoors has big benefits when it comes to our mental health. 

Here at I’m Outside, we’re big fans of forest bathing. Being surrounded by trees can help lower stress and improve sleep (yes, please), while exposure to sunlight keeps our moods high. But if getting outside, especially during sunlight hours, isn’t possible, bring the outside in. 

Use our Forest Bathing in a Bottle mist as an anytime, anywhere mist and enjoy all the benefits of being outside right in the comfort of your living room. See our guide for more ideas to connect with nature when you're stuck indoors.

Being inside more often means moving less, but mindful movement is a great way to get those coveted endorphins flowing. If you can take your exercise outdoors and double-up on benefits, head out for a walk or jog daily, or hit the snowy slopes for a ski session. But if you’re stuck inside, the internet is an endless resource of at-home yoga classes, no-equipment-needed cardio, and more. 

Feeling too sluggish to get started? Packed with spruce, Japanese mint and pine, a spritz of I’m Outside can help you feel instantly energized and motivated to get moving.

Being tired leads to doing nothing at home, which in turn keeps us even more unmotivated in an endless cycle of SAD, but being social is key to feeling like yourself. While winter alone poses its own social challenges, social distancing makes it even harder to connect with those most important to you. 

If making plans feels instantly overwhelming, schedule a weekly happy hour, join a book club, or sign up for a class so you’re committed to show up at the same time every week. While it might not sound fun now, your future (more productive) self will thank you.

While these suggestions are meant to bring a little extra light to your winter, if you or someone you know are seriously struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder or other mental health issues, consult a professional, and know you’re not alone.