SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder: Could there be a better name for it? Literally, you are SAD and it is due to the season. Clever. But it is real and even hits people during the summer months. However, this is the time of year when most people affected by SAD start to feel it creeping up on them. But there are answers and solutions that don’t require anti-depressants.
Stop dwelling – Stop with the negative feedback running through you head. We know it is cold and crappy and it sucks, A LOT! But stop thinking about it. You cannot control the weather or when the sunsets, but you can control your thoughts and your actions. Chose to think yourself happy, chose to be positive and chose to do things that make you happy. This is not always easy and you may need to speak to someone who specializes in this area to get you started. There is no shame in that. There is shame in not trying and choosing to just stew in misery because it takes less effort.
You deserve to be happy all year long and reading this is the first indication that you believe that too. If you do all these things with 100% effort and your depression is still severe enough to affect your relationships, ability to work and function on a daily basis, your depression may require further investigation from a qualified health care professional.
Read on for more ways to beat the winter blues:
See a Naturopathic Doctor – Sometimes your vitamin levels need to be checked and supplements adjusted during the winter months. Also good to rule out other issues such as thyroid or hormone imbalances.
Get out – No matter how cold it is, or even if it’s cloudy, a short walk will lift your mood. Better yet, get involved with winter sports, take the kids or grand kids out and build a snowman. Just get outside!
Take Naps – Getting enough sleep and staying on a consistent sleep schedule is always important but sometimes a little nap, (less than 45mins) can make you feel rejuvenated and give you that extra energy for the day.
Have more sex – Do I need to explain why this boosts your mood? Even if you are not in the mood to do it in the first place, just do it!! You always feel better afterward and you will be happy you did. (And so will your partner *wink wink*)
Lighten up – Literally, lighten up your home. Open the blinds turn on lights, light candles. Also changing out drabby or dark colours for brighter ones like yellows, greens, pinks etc can really brighten your home. There is enough white and grey outside already!
Change your diet – Stay away from carbs and refined sugars. When you are feeling down these are the things you turn to in the cold months but it will NOT help in the long run. Fresh fruits and veggies, omega 3 rich foods and good fats are they way to go.
Ease up on the uppers and downers – Reduce your alcohol intake and don’t overdo it with caffeinated beverages.
Buy yourself flowers and plants – Turn your home into a little jungle. Buy some plants and add some green and life into your surroundings. Buy yourself flowers every week or so to give you that feeling of spring.
Make Plans – Just because it is cold and gloomy doesn’t mean your social calendar needs to be. Make plans to get together with friends/family on a weekly basis. Book a spa session. Get a manicure/pedicure. Get your hair done. Go to a movie. Start a games night or join a bowling league. Go away for the weekend! But please, don’t wait till BBQ and patio drinking season to be social again.
Throw a summer or Hawaiian themed party – Crank the heat up at home, wear your summer clothes, swimwear, and make some cocktails and cook on an in home grill. Voila, summer fun in February! (Or whenever).