BEATING THOSE WINTER BLUES
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Feeling down? Low energy? Tired? It’s not you, it’s winter. Seasonal affective disorder, appropriately named SAD, is to blame. When less natural sunlight light is available, our daily body rhythms become out of sync because of the reduced sunlight. Think about it, you’re a lot more likely to go for a jog or after work in the spring and summertime, same thing happens in the morning. Ever tried waking up at 6am in January? It’s difficult. No one wants to get out of bed and step into a January morning.
Seasonal depression usually kicks in late October and ends early March. If you know the weather affects your mood, you’ve got to do something about it. Being grouchy for five months out of the year is no fun for anyone.
Luckily, there are a few things we can all do to beat seasonal depression.
So, you work in an office? Bad news. A lot of us who work inside and behind a desk are more prone to be affected by seasonal depression. Don’t worry, there are ways to brighten up your mood. Bring in a few small plants or cactus into the office. Having plants and greenery around you not only give you a little mood boost, but they can also help to raise productivity, increase attentiveness and improve your perceptions of your space. You make work in a cubicle or a small space, but turn it into your own escape
For all of us who work inside, it’s imperative to get at least 15-20 minutes of sunlight a day. We know sunlight increases your serotonin levels and higher serotonin levels in our bloodstream increase our mood. Walk through a park or go grab a tea, even if it’s a quick stroll around the block, your body will thank you.
I know I said it’s almost impossible to get out of bed on a January morning, especially to work out, but try it, it’ll be worth it. Exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety, common symptoms of seasonal depression. If it helps, don’t think about getting to the gym, think about how you feel AFTER you leave the gym. Even just 15 minutes of intense physical activity can help us feel more confident and ready to tackle the day.
Write it down. Writing down your feelings, (or even drawing them out) is its own kind of therapy. Take a moment one afternoon to turn on your favorite tunes and let the creativity flow. Seeing your feelings on paper will help you feel lighter.
Have a girl’s night out (or in!) Strong friendships have a positive impact on your emotional health, and this goes for all year round, not just during the winter blues! With social media, it’s becoming more and more easy to feel isolated and alone but remember the days before Facebook and Instagram? We went out with our friends without having to post a photo of our table setting or glass of wine, we were completely, 100% in the moment. Let’s go back to those days. Good friends make you happy and there’s no replacement for a good girl’s night out.
What makes you feel better during the winter? We’d love to hear from you!