Winter can be long, dark and hard. The ‘Winter Blues’ or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) describes a type of depression brought abought by the Winter period. The signs of the Winter Blues are similar to symptoms of depression – feeling hopeless, weight change, lethargy, inability to concentrate, irritability, desire to withdraw and disinterest.
For many people it’s the darkness and weather that brings these feelings on. Weather conditions can be limiting and lead to feelings of being trapped or housebound. For many of us, our activities and social interactions become severely limited.
Focus on the Positives of Winter
Try and make the most of some of the activities that are best enjoyed in Winter like snuggling in front of a fire, winter sports, Christmas markets, hot chocolate and sledding. Enjoy some nights in watching your favourite feel good movies or keep yourself busy with a DIY or craft project so your home is in great shape when you get to Summer.
Plan for Indoor Activities
Painting, reading, sewing – there are lots of activities that you can enjoy indoors. Plan for one of these as Winter approaches and make sure you have everything you need. If you have something you enjoy doing, and that keeps your mind busy and motivated, you are less likely to succumb to any negative feelings.
Pick Yourself Up with Thoughts of Summer
Take some time to think about your Summer. Perhaps look at some holiday brochures and plan a trip. Find some great places for Summer days out. Tell yourself Winter is not permanent and it will soon be Spring again.
Dress Up for Winter
Make sure your Winter wardrobe is kept up to date. You want practical, warm and fun clothes that make you feel good. This will mean you feel comfortable heading outdoors and making the most of the activities available.
Exercise is extremely important to our happiness as it produces chemicals that make us feel happy. If your usual activities are hampered by Winter weather, make sure you have a plan B. There’s still lots of things you can do to keep active. Maybe try a new keep fit class which gets you out and meeting new people.
Light & Sun
If you get a chance to enjoy some Winter sun make sure you take it. Even if it’s just sitting by the window with a good book. If you can manage to take a break in a sunnier climate, that might provide some relief. If the hours of darkness get too much you can also buy special lamps that mimic sunlight.
Sun can be very good for our bodies and skin and generally makes us feel good. In Winter the weather can leave us feeling a bit drained and pale with dry or cracking skin. Look after yourself by eating well, moisturising and avoiding overly hot showers to keep your skin soft and supple. Don’t give up on your self-care routines if they make you feel good just because you’re hidden under that Winter jumper!
If you feel like this time of year gets on top of you and you’d like help learning how to pick yourself up, please do contact me to learn how I can help you.