It’s funny… Oftentimes, in late summer or early fall, I find myself yearning for the winter season. And every year in late winter, I forget just how much the SADs (seasonal affective disorder) kicks my butt. Dreams of Christmas trees, time spent with family & friends, and bright holiday lights are nice in the moment, but after December, I tend to struggle to even get out of bed in the morning, a condition I’ve personally labelled as “the Januarys”. For me, side effects of the Januarys include inability to get out of bed in the morning, an increased desire to lay around for hours binging Netflix and complete lack of motivation to do anything. So in the midst of my personal mission to feel better in the winter, I’ve decided to write out a list of ways (that have worked for me) to overcome the winter blues.
Schedule a Friend Date
Beating the winter “blahs” can be tough. However, by surrounding yourself with a tight-knit group of friends, you could be looking at a natural method to overcoming a bad case of the SADs. If you’ve been feeling particularly unmotivated lately, try scheduling a friend date. Making some time for a buddy you haven’t seen in a while or scheduling a group outing with your besties could be just what you need to lift up your spirits this winter season.
Try Something New
Taking up a new hobby or enrolling in online education is usually a great method for kick-starting your motivation, feeling more accomplished and of course, overcoming seasonal depression. Thanks to the simplicity of the internet, there’s tons of great websites to help you out. Interested in learning a new skill? Udemy has some great courses from graphic design and coding to music techniques and nutrition. The beauty of taking an online course is you can learn the basics right from your own couch! If you’re seeking a new activity (and possibly make some new friends while you’re at it), see what’s going on in your area. Paint Nite has become popular for good reason and is a fantastic way to develop your artistic skills while also having a blast.
Do Something Productive
Whether you have a to-do list the size of the Great Wall of China or simply need to tackle a couple of minor tasks, perhaps it’s time to start actually checking off some of the items. Taking care of the things that need to be done can work wonders on your stress levels while also allowing you to feel more level-headed. Creating a realistic to-do list allows you to look at the big picture and plan for the long-term which can leave you feeling much more relaxed.
Make Time for Exercise
You knew this one was coming… combating Seasonal Affective Disorder by exercising regularly kind of goes without saying. Keeping our body active helps boost serotonin and endorphins, almost acting like a natural anti-depressant. Try going for a run or walk outside and see how you feel afterwards. If exercising outside isn’t an ideal option for you, consider getting a gym membership. Having a workout buddy can be an effective way to hold yourself accountable for attending gym sessions regularly.
Brighten your Environment
Another great way to reduce stress, anxiety and depression symptoms caused by the season is to brighten up your environment. Consider investing in a Day-Light SAD Lamp
that helps up to 50 percent of people suffering from depression caused by SAD. The light box provides bright rays that help boost serotonin in the brain.
Remember, there’s always ways to overcome feelings of depression, anxiety, tenseness, or whatever other ailment you may be suffering from. Help is always available, whether it’s through natural sources like the ones stated above or through a professional. Happiness is possible!
As stated in my about page, I’m certainly not an expert and am just reporting based on what works for me along with my own personal research. If you feel these are not an option for you, consider seeking professional help.