After the holiday excitement, it’s easy to get the winter time blues. You may find yourself isolating and just feeling down right crummy. You’re not alone. Around 4-6% of people have diagnosed Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) and 10-20% have mild SAD. Whether you have SAD or not, you're probably ready for spring. Here are a few things you can do to get through this final winter stretch. There is light (sunlight) at the end of the tunnel!
Spring is in the air! This has been a rough winter, especially for us New Englanders. March is a tough month. It’s long for one and it’s very close to spring, but Mother Nature could still drop a foot of snow. It’s hard not to get cabin fever and feel like you’re climbing the walls waiting for spring. We have all paid our winter dues and now we want sunshine.
Plan a game night or have friends over for dinner. Get people together to play cards or other games. If you don’t want to do all the cooking, make it a potluck. It’s surprising how good it can feel just to be social.
Get moving! Exercise can relieve depression and the wintertime blues. Even some light stretching can be helpful and make you feel better.
Cut back on sugar. Sugary foods are so comforting. I would love to dive into a plate of warm cinnamon rolls right now! The problem is that it raises your blood sugar levels then drops them, which can make you feel worse. It can lead to irritability and depression.
Start a new project. Organize a closet, redecorate, crochet or knit something, build a birdhouse, or start sprouting your garden. It will be spring before you know it.
Try to enjoy the last of the cold weather and get a cold weather hobby like skiing, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. Or my personal favorite drinking hot chocolate and playing Scrabble.
Lastly, just have patience. We are finally getting there.
Talk to your doctor about Vitamin D supplements. Sunshine has vitamin D, but unless you live in a warmer climate you may not be getting your proper Vitamin D dose.
Use a sun lamp. Sun lamps can help with Vitamin D and mimic the sun.
Start planning a vacation. Not only will it get you thinking of exotic places, it will give you something to look forward to, thus improving your mood.