Have you ever found yourself feeling down during the months of winter? It turns out millions of Americans feel the same way every year for some valid reasons. We often find ourselves spending more time indoors, it feels like it's dark outside 20 hours of the day and cold weather rules out a lot of our favorite activities.
Doctors refer to this as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short. Symptoms of SAD are depression, trouble sleeping, lethargic feelings, overeating, irritable mood and a lack of desire to be social.
Thankfully, if these symptoms aren't too serious, these bad winter feelings can be cleared up by doing a few of these things each day.
Of course, clinical depression is a serious disorder that can't be fixed by a handful of online tips. If you are experiencing intense feelings of depression this season, contact your doctor immediately. The important thing to remember is that no matter how severe your winter blues gets, you aren't alone.
1. Let In Some Light
Light has a big impact on your mood and disposition and can even act as a powerful anti-depressant in some cases.
Chocolate is known to alleviate anxiety and boost your mood. Be careful not to include too much sugar in your diet, though, because it can cause a crash later.
3. Work Out
Exercise helps get your blood and endorphins flowing. Find a way to incorporate more walking into your daily schedule. Your body and mind will thank you.
4. Go Outside
This goes along great with #3. It may be cold out, but the sun is a great source of vitamin D, and fresh air is always a good way to clear your head.
5. Warm Up
Don't skimp on blankets and hot cocoa this year. You may claim you like it cold, but a chilly environment will frustrate everyone eventually. Staying warm takes your mind off the cold and allows you to focus on more important things.
6. Crank Up The Tunes
We all have one album that makes us feel good no matter how down we are. Music is a powerful influence on mood, so don't let your house be silent this winter.
7. Plan A Trip
It's fun to have something to look forward to, whether that's a huge trip to Hawaii next summer, or a day-trip to visit a relative next weekend. Whatever your budget allows, it's always nice to have something coming up on your calendar.
8. Try A New Hobby
Nobody likes being bored. You can only watch movies, read books and play board games for so long before getting stir crazy. Teach yourself a new skill. Start a blog. Carve some wood. By the time March rolls around, you should have a new talent under your belt.
9. Take Care Of Others
Like we said at the start, everyone is feeling a little down during winter. If we all go out of our way to make those around us feel loved, these next few months won't be so hard.
10. Get Out There And Socialize
The company of others is a great way to fight off seasonal depression. Talk about how you're feeling with others and build each other up.