Seasonal depression doesn’t always strike at the beginning of winter. In fact, because the symptoms are triggered by a lack of sunlight, you’re more likely to feel bad after you’ve been cooped up for months in a row.
The good news is that you’re on the home stretch and spring is right around the corner. In the meantime, try these tricks to keep your spirits above the clouds.
Go for a Walk
The core of your winter blues comes from a lack of sunlight and fresh air. Give yourself a healthy dose of both of these things by making short walks a part of your regular schedule. Even 15-20 minutes a day will leave you feeling more energetic and relaxed. Plan to go out in the late morning or early afternoon, when the sun is at its highest and the weather will be warmest.
Brighten the Room
If your winters are overcast and you haven’t seen the sun in weeks, it might be time to add a little artificial light to your environment. Open the curtains, turn on the lights, and consider placing a mood-boosting lightbox on your desk or by your favorite reading chair. Remember to dim the lights towards the end of the day to make sure you’re able to fall asleep.
Eat Healthy Food
One of the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder is a steady craving for starchy and sugary foods. Warm baked goods are one of the delights of winter, but you should also make sure you’re getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Enjoy a bowl of hearty vegetable soup, a fresh salad, or a side of green vegetables with your next balanced meal.
Get Enough Sleep
Your yawns might be a symptom of seasonal affective disorder – or they might be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. If you’re sleep-deprived, you might be able to snooze for as much as 9-12 hours a night until you feel fully rested. Let yourself enjoy a few winter naps, and you’ll feel more energetic for the rest of the season.
Do Something You Enjoy
When you’re suffering from the winter blues, it can be hard to work and even harder to find the energy to play. Take some time to indulge in your favorite hobbies or socialize with your friends. Whether it’s reading a great book or going out for a cup of hot chocolate, even small activities will break the monotony of winter and help keep your mood up until the season ends.
The symptoms of winter depression are normal and common. Keep yourself healthy, and make sure to get plenty of sunlight at every opportunity; winter will be over before you know it.