By: Sarah Elizabeth
It’s that time of year again! The sun sets earlier, the outdoor social events have drastically minimized, the cold has come, and you might be feeling a bit blue.
Well, if you’re struggling with a bad case of the “winter blues”, you might be a victim of the ugly SAD monster. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that is caused by seasonal changes. It can cause you to experience irritability, fatigue, hypersensitivity to rejection, change in appetite, anxiety, depression, and changes in your sleep patterns. This season (Fall through Winter) seems to be the time that Seasonal Affective Disorder is most prevalent, but I am here to give you a few ways to combat those icky feelings!
1.) Make your environment sunnier and brighter.
According to Natural News, the average person’s Vitamin D level will decrease well below the deficiency zone during winter. The lack of Vitamin D can lead to illness, an increased risk of cancer, depression, and a myriad of other potential problems. So, how does one maintain a healthy level of Vitamin D during the winter? Well, the two most popular options are to take a daily supplement or to get some sunlight (real or artificial). I’m not a huge fan of advocating for tanning beds (and it goes against my better judgment), but if you are feeling extremely depressed and can’t face the cold, try fifteen minutes in a tanning bed to beat your blues. Also, add some brightness to your home or room! I love having pink and other vibrant colors in my room to lift the gloom, so give it a try. If you like decorating and doing artsy things, grab some colorful (recycled) paper and put the sun, some paper grass, and even some cute little animals on your wall to look at… you could even make a beach scene.
2.) Get Festive!
With the cold brings Christmas cheer! This reporter loves to break out her light-up Christmas sweater, decorations, Christmas movies, and coffee mugs for hot cocoa! Nothing helps beat the blues like enjoying the season for what it is! Go out and look at the decorated houses, enjoy some hot chocolate at Starbucks, wrap some Christmas gifts, or even attend an ugly sweater party! The choice is yours! Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you can’t deny that lit-up houses look beautiful and uplifting… so go out and give it a try.
3.) Do something good!
The warm weather may have gone away, but the warmness in your heart doesn’t have to! This season makes a lot of people feel sad or lonely, so reach out to the less fortunate! My favorite thing to do is make encouraging goodie bags (a nice note and some tasty treats). If you don’t have the time or money for that, try writing an encouraging note to a friend, play games with an elderly person at a retirement home, or spend a day making food for the homeless. I promise, your heart will immediately feel better after doing some good deeds.
Don’t lounge about and let your emotions get to you. Prove how strong you are by shaking off the negative feelings and reach out for some fun with friends! Go grab some coffee, see a movie, or have dinner. Anytime you can be around someone, take it! It helps to be around people when you are feeling down.
5.) Pamper yourself.
Nothing makes this reporter feel better than an at-home spa day! Take a nice hot shower or bath, put on a facial mask (Guys, you can do it, too) put on a cute outfit, maybe read your favorite book (I suggest Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule), and just relax!
6.) Talk about it.
If things are really eating at you, talk to someone about how you feel! Don’t keep it bottled up and then risk feeling worse later, just get it off your chest. Reach out to someone you are comfortable with and just talk.
Don’t let this season get you down, so take care of yourself! Remember, if you feel like you’re at rock bottom, remember that rock bottom is the strongest foundation!