How do you enjoy, not just survive long winters and make the most of every moment?
You know that feeling – Christmas is well gone, we spent all our money, spring feels like long distance away and it’s still soooo gloomy out there…
Here are few practical tips that can make all the difference:
Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues.
Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose bright colours that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.
Being cold makes you more depressed. It’s also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half.
Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes, and aim to keep your home between 18C and 21C (or 64F and 70F degrees).
A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you from putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
See the Light
Some people find light therapy effective for seasonal depression. One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box or SAD lamp for up to two hours a day.
Light boxes give out very bright light at least 10 times stronger than ordinary home and office lighting.
Some people find that using a dawn simulator (a bedside light, connected to an alarm clock, that mimics a sunrise and wakes you up gradually) as well as a light box can enhance the beneficial effect.
Take up a New Hobby
Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD. It can be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, yoga, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on.
See your Friends and Family
It’s been shown that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while.
Talk it Through
Don’t suffer in silence feeling alone… Talking treatments such as coaching, counselling, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you cope with symptoms.
Join a Support Group
Think about joining a support group that resonates with you. Sharing your experience with others who know what it’s like to have SAD is very therapeutic and can make your symptoms much more manageable.
Lastly, let’s remember winter is as important as any other season and just as in nature, it is giving us opportunity to rest, reflect, rejuvenate and prepare for the spring to come. So light up the candles, and have those warm hearted conversations with friends by the fireplace or have a bubble bath.
Re-connect with yourself and even try something new to see how it makes you feel inside.
We all are here just for a while – let’s make the most out of every moment❣