Tips to get us past “The Winter Blues”
Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD): I’m sure you all have heard of it before. It comes with many names: winter blues, cabin fever, winter rut. It’s characterized by the mild depression, lack of motivation, and low energy that many people experience during this cold season. It’s that time after the holidays when the nights are longer than the days and the weather is cooler, if not colder and most of us become cave dwellers. It affects all of us in different ways, but here are a few tips to help us through!
Embrace the Season
Instead of always avoiding the cold and the snow—look for the best that it has to offer! Take up a winter sport like ice skating, snowboarding, hockey, or even sledding! Enjoy these opportunities while they last—after all, they’re only here a few months per year. Staying active will boost your energy. Seeing winter in a positive light, with all the fun activities that it has to offer, will keep your spirits high.
Having something to look forward to can keep anyone motivated. Winter seems endless! But if you plan something exciting, your mood improves when you’re anticipating it and when the event actually comes. Plan something that’s exciting to you—a weekend trip, a day at the spa, a party, or special event like a play, girls (or guys) night out, or sporting event.
Change your light bulbs
I recommend Blues Busters, which produce a light like natural sunlight and cost about $7 a bulb. I started using them a few years ago and they’ve helped tremendously ease the effects of SAD.
Squeeze in a daily daytime walk
If you can bundle up and get out on your lunch break for a 20-minute stroll, do it! If you can’t swing that, consider waking up a little earlier so you can catch a few drops of sunlight before work. If you take public transportation, get on one stop past yours so you can sneak in some sun before you’re stuck in an office all day and miss it.
Paint your walls
It’s like taking the idea of fresh flowers to the next level. And if you don’t like the color, or if you are tired of it by spring, you can always paint over it!
Invest in some fresh flowers
A burst of color does wonder for one’s mood, and flowers don’t have to be expensive. Carnations, long thought to be granny flowers, are making a bit of a comeback (I love a bunch of hot pink ones cut shorts and kept in something unexpected, like a vintage teacup). A five-dollar bunch can last up to ten days.
What do you do when the winter blues hit? Share your suggestions with us!