When the weather is cold and the skies are dark and cloudy, it’s easier to feel down and despondent. If you struggle with gloomy feelings during the winter, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, there’s help and hope available, without the use of medication. Of course, please check with your physician before making any changes to your health regimen.
Spring is Around the Corner. Some people start feeling down days into the season change. Don’t let this happen to you! To stay happy and peaceful during the winter, focus your time and energy on things that bring you joy. See the beauty that the winter months have to offer. However, if you are really struggling to see any beauty in the gloom of winter, I have a few simple ideas to jump-start your thinking in a more positive direction.
- Buy a sun lamp. A sun lamp gives you the light you need even when it’s gloomy outside, and works much better to help your mood than just turning on all the lights in your house.
- Take a vacation. Travel to somewhere sunny and warmer each winter, even if only for a couple of days. Looking forward to your annual getaway will lift your spirits during the time before you go, too.
- Get outside. When the sun does come out, even if it’s otherwise cold, take advantage of it. When your body is deprived of sunlight, it has a harder time making vitamin D. If you can get some sun, though, you’ll feel better. Feeling better, helps you to make it through until spring arrives with its longer, sunnier days.
- Find activities that bring you joy. Read that book you’ve always wanted, engross yourself in a new TV sitcom that comes on in winter. Perhaps learning to ski or snowboard, can bring you the mental and physical benefits of exercising, while also finding a way to enjoy the winter weather.
- Consider a dawn simulator. These are alarm clocks, that gradually produces light that increases in intensity, just like the sun. These clocks do not wake you with loud beeping sounds or music.
- Consider aromatherapy. Studies have shown that essential oils can influence the brain area responsible for lifting your moods.
- If you have SAD, you probably have trouble sleeping; whether it’s falling asleep, or getting up in the morning. Try sticking to a regular schedule, eating on time etc. Yes, it’s fine to shake things up from time to time, however, with SAD, routine is the way to go.
- Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts, moods, and feelings is very theraputic. I find the best time to do so, is right before bed. A gratitude journal is also a great option
Depression is Treatable – Even if it’s Only Occasional. If your feelings of depression run deep, talk to your doctor about options best suited to your needs. If you’re only getting bummed out and unhappy during the winter, though, focusing on strategies that work during the this time, is the best way to shake the blues.
You can choose to be joyful. Focus on things that matter to you and bring you happiness. Winter is only a season, and you’ll have spring, summer, and fall to enjoy the sunshine. Remember, anything you can do when it’s dark outside, you can do on a gloomy winter day. If you have hobbies that lend themselves to indoor activity, you’ll have more to keep your mind occupied as you move through the winter. The cold days will pass more quickly if you have something to do to occupy your time, and spring will arrive before you know it.
During this month, we have touched on a lot how depression affects every facet of our lives, and hopefully, you have found the tips and strategies most useful. Use this FREE Depression Recovery Worksheet.to help you heal
To Your Success,