Got the Winter Blues? Can’t seem to shake the big case of the Blahs? Feeling a bit depressed and not sure why? It’s possible that, like millions of others around the world, you could be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). While, I’ll leave the actual diagnosing to your personal healthcare professional, here are some things moms can do to avoid letting Old Man Winter get ya’ down. Oh, and for the record…I’m speaking not just as a counselor, but fellow sufferer too!
1. Consider Light Therapy
Light Therapy involved sitting in front of a special light box that mimics daylight of the summer months. Having many friends that swear by their light boxes, I went ahead and purchased my own. There are models that look and can be used as a desk lamp…made for the fashion insistent sufferer like me! So now I can be happier without being tacky. What more could I ask for?
2. Do Something Different
Winter can be hard with those endless gray days, cold temperatures and short days and long nights. It’s easy to feel stuck in a rut. So why not shake things up a bit? Do something different. It can be anything from trying a new exercise, starting a new hobby or just painting your toe nails a summer color.
3. Give of yourself
Sometimes when my SAD starts to get the best of me, I can become so self absorbed. Yes, it’s true when we help others, we feel better. Is there a charity you have been meaning to donate to? What about sending a note to someone you appreciate. Or one of my favorites, buy coffee for the person behind you in the Starbucks line. The caffeine won’t be the only thing lifting your mood.
4. Exercise and Diet
Can’t say enough about this one. Exercise lifts our mood and eating healthy just makes you feel empowered. Feel free to keep some sweets….just add more fruits and veggies. Personally, I’m trying a new sport beside just running. If you see me in a Zumba class…please no videos popping up on YouTube later on.
5. Go ahead and take a little extra time to take care of yourself
It’s okay..really. We can take a little longer in the shower, reading a good book, going for a a longer run…or just spending a few more minutes watching TV in peace and quiet.
6. Reach out
Trust me, I know how hard it can be to reach out to friends when I’m singing the blues. I would rather curl up and hibernate then get out with my friends. But, that usually only makes it worse. Isolation never really helps anything, except the spreading the flu. So grab some of your friends, and head out the door for some fun.
7. Remember you’re not alone
Millions of people experience SAD every year. The good news is it can be very treatable. You may want to talk to your healthcare provider about some medication and counseling options as well. Before we know it, Spring will be here and we will be dancing outside, singing with the birds and working in the garden. I’m counting down the weeks!