The winter blues is a real and rathe unpleasant. If you've noticed you get extra down or extra tired during the winter months it may be seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterized by fatigue, social withdrawal, depression and hopelessness. Abbreviated SAD, how fitting!
There's good news: you don't have to suffer all winter long, there are actually a few things you can do to help yourself through the sunless days of winter.
Have your vitamin levels tested by your doctor!
Often times people with SAD are low on vitamin D and Magnesium. Make an appointment with your doctor to have your levels tested and ask about a supplement if you need one!
Get yourself a happy light.
These babies are proven to help regulate your circadian rhythm and ward off the winter blues when used regularly and you can snag one for under $50 on amazon. You don't even have to leave the house for this sunshine!
While it may be tempting to hide under your covers alone on the couch it may not be the best idea. If you need some seclusion go for it but if you find yourself withdrawing socially it might not be for the best. Make plans and see others often- maybe even talk about SAD you'd be surprised by how many people experience the same thing you do!
Staying active helps release all kinds of happy chemicals in your body and brain. Endorphins can really rev up your mood in the gloom and doomsof winter time.
If you like writing or you prefer doodling, just do it. Expressing yourself creatively when you're shut in and feeling less than productive can rejuvenate your spirits and let out some less than pleasant feelings.
Wear proper winter gear of course. I know it may seem like the last thing you want to do but even 15 minutes of outside time can improve you mood throughout the day. Fresh air and a little sun (even when it's gloomy its still kind of there) can do wonders for you mental and physical health!
Hot baths, warm showers, snuggly wool sucks, time in the conservatory, a winter trip to a warm destination, sitting by the fireplace. However you can do it get warm.
It might not seem productive to go to counseling for a seasonally related issue, but it is. Seasonal depression causes some of the same symptoms like hopelessness, guilt, low self esteem, feelings of worthlessness. Part of good self care is working through these things to improve your quality of life now and into the future. If you've never tried counseling before maybe this is the year you should give it a try and see if it makes a difference for you.
I hope you try some of these out and see what works for you!