Winter is just beginning, and with it comes the winter blues, or even worse, seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder
If you have ever found yourself down in the dumps toward the end of the season, the time to start prepping for those dark and dreary winter days ahead is now.
Everyone reacts differently to the cold, extended dark hours of winter. We generally all begin to crave spring as the cold season nears its end , but for some, the winter blues can morph into S.A.D., which is much more serious than just being in a winter funk, or having cabin fever.
Regardless of how you experience the winter months, there are plenty of proactive steps you can take to stay energized and on top of your emotional game, all the way into spring.
Get Plenty of Exercise & H2O
Okay. So it’s 28 degrees outside, I’m not saying go jogging for frostbite, although there are those hardcore runners out there with the motto of a mailman- rain,sleet or snow. God love em. I don’t know how they do it. Luckily for the rest of us, there are plenty of other things we can do to stay active during hibernation season. Here is a list of just a few things you can start doing today.
1) Join a Gym
You can usually snag a great deal on a gym membership this time of year!
2) Begin a Simple at home exercise regimen
If joining a gym just isn’t an option, you can make full use of YouTube to find all the FREE workouts your body can handle.
3) DANCE PARTY!
This one is my personal favorite! Hold impromptu dance sessions with your kids. Not only does the movement get your blood pumping, but there is sure to be plenty of laughter, and you know, laughter is the best medicine after all! Between the movement and giggles, your body will be releasing dopamin, one of the bodies neurotransmitters that regulate mood.
4) Brighten Up your Home
Due to the long nights and short days, we tend not to get as much natural light as our bodies need, and by mid-winter, the melancholy begins to set in due to a lack of vitamin D. Although researchers still do not know all of the causes of seasonal depression/blues, they do know that the lack of vitamin D derived from our exposure to the sun, plays a huge role. So open up all of those curtains and let the sunshine in! Not only will it lift your mood, it will slightly lower your heating bill, by letting those warm sunbeams reach as far into your home as they can. Win Win!
5) Stay Social
It is so tempting not too leave the house, unless you absolutely have too , because it’s so dang cold out there! Don’t let the temps keep you from going out periodically, for things other than work and grocery runs. Schedule a coffee date with friends, play dates for your kids, and visit your parents. Just get out of the house a few times a month! It makes all the difference in how you feel!
6) Stay Hydrated!
This one is a given. We all know that dehydration can be mistaken for depression. Unfortunately for our mood, a lot of us tend to neglect our water intake during cold weather because, well, we’re FREEZING, therefore we reach for the hot beverages in an attempt to attain that warm and cozy feeling that only coffee can bring ( or your hot bevi of choice). So, for your mood’s sake, don’t go neglecting the H2O!
These are just a few things you can do to thwart the winter blues, and while they are great tips, if you or someone you know tends to sink into a more serious seasonal depression, don’t wait, please talk to a professional now.
Now cozy up (but don’t sit there too long!), and make the most out of another of Gods great seasons!