Winter is here, and the holidays have come and gone; for some people, that can make dealing with the gray, dreary days of winter well depressing. You can’t blame people for feeling blah when the celebrations are over, and you head outside, and it’s dark, dreary, cold, and wet. There are some things that you can do to beat seasonal depression this year, and we are going to tell you how!
Did you know that seasonal depression even has a name? It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, and if it’s got you down in the dumps, don’t worry, you are far from the only person who struggles with it. The long days of winter have less sunlight, so you are getting less vitamin D naturally, which can make you depressed.
One very effective tip for beating seasonal depression during the winter is a lightbox or artificial light. The light box mimics the sun’s rays, and sitting in front of this light for as little as half an hour per day, can give you a massive boost in your mood. These light boxes are more robust than traditional light bulbs, so you need to shop for a lightbox, not just a lamp.
Some people stay home when the weather turns cold and dreary, especially after the holiday season’s hustle and bustle. Keeping to yourself can tend to make you depressed, though. Plan some activities and outings with friends to get you out of the house and give you something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be elaborate; a lunch with the girls or a coffee date can do the trick.
Get some Exercise
Did you know that when you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called endorphins that make you happy? It’s true! So get up and walk, put on your favorite playlist, and dance around the living room. It doesn’t matter what the exercise is; get up and move, and you will feel your mood lift almost immediately!
Add Vitamin D to your Diet
As mentioned, you get a lot of natural vitamin D from the sunshine, so it makes sense that your vitamin D levels drop when there isn’t as much of it. This can contribute to seasonal depression, so consider adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet.
Do Something Nice For Yourself
If you are feeling down, do something nice for yourself. Buy yourself a colorful bunch of flowers, take a bubble bath, or hit the salon for a new haircut. Buy yourself a new book, or treat yourself to a coffee. It doesn’t matter what it is, do something nice for yourself that makes you smile and brightens your day.
See Your Doctor
If you have tried these tips and are still struggling with seasonal depression, consider talking to your doctor. They can do blood work to check your vitamin D and hormone levels further to see if something else is going on or if you need to consider taking an antidepressant.
I used these tips to beat back seasonal depression this winter, and if they don’t work for you or don’t work well enough, consider talking to your doctor. What do you like to do to keep seasonal depression at bay?