As crunchy autumn leaves begin to give way to snow, ice, and seemingly endless darkness, it's natural to feel a little depressed. Some people even suffer from a type of seasonally induced depression known as Seasonal Affective d Disorder (SAD). If you find yourself getting a hefty dose of misery every winter, here are four ways to make this winter different.
You might be tempted to become a bear and hibernate all winter, but squirreling yourself away will only make you feel worse. Exercise helps you stay healthy all through the holidays, offers a quick pick-me-up, as well as a long-term antidote to depression and anxiety.
Create New Holidays
If Thanksgiving or Christmas leave you anxious about your family and overwhelmed by responsibilities, it's time to recover some of the magic of the holidays. Make some new holidays so you have something to look forward to! Maybe November 30th is national skip work day, or December 5th becomes read together as a family day. Small celebrations add up to big improvements in your mood.
Get Some Light
Most researchers think that the real reason many of us get depressed during the winter is lack of sunlight. Sunlight is key for vitamin D metabolism, and also plays a critical role in your mood. Spend at least 15 minutes outside each day. If that's not possible, ask your doctor if sitting under a sunlamp might be an option.
If you can't seem to shake the winter doldrums, focus on spring, which is always just around the corner. Consider planning your garden, stocking up on bulbs and seeds, or begin saving up for a vacation or landscaping project. When you focus on a brighter future, you'll be better equipped to get through today.