I know some people who love the winter. I know, I don’t get it, either. They love the cold and snow and I think they must be crazy. Okay, sorry- that wasn’t nice and I apologize if I insulted anyone- being cold makes me a little cranky. We’re all entitled to our preferences. But really, I would love someone to explain to me the appeal of numb fingers and toes, chattering teeth, slippery roads, and dirty snow everywhere including what comes into my house on everyone’s boots! And the dark, dreary days. Those make me sad; do you know about SAD? It stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it’s a real thing. It’s a type of depression that occurs from changes in the seasons, most commonly during the winter, and is attributed to a lack of exposure to sunlight. You can read up on it here if you want more information.
For those of us who are not wild about the many charms of winter, it’s understandable that some of the inconveniences and discomforts of this wondrous season can get you down. But being down and dealing with it is different from having it take over your life for a few months. There’s not much any of us can do about arranging the seasons or controlling the glories of winter, but there are things we can do about how we let it affect us. I must point out, though, that if you feel that the “winter blues” are getting the best of you, you should discuss it with a doctor. Either way, it’s worthwhile to try some of these ideas and see if they help:
- Move: Exercise regularly this winter and you’ll kill two birds with one stone. Exercise is a great mood enhancer and if you keep at it you might avoid the scramble to lose that winter padding come beach season.
- Stick to a regular schedule: Sleeping and getting up on a regular schedule on weekdays and weekends helps regulate your body’s inner rhythm, which can have an effect on your mood.
- Get some exposure to daylight every day: Even when it’s cloudy, you can still benefit from daylight.
- Get a special light box: There are lamps you can buy that are supposed to mimic sunlight. Sit with it shining on you while you work or read. People who use them say they help. I don’t have a specific brand to recommend, but you can shop for one on Amazon.com where you can find many options at different price ranges, and read customer reviews to find the one that best suits your needs.
Hopefully this winter will fly by and we’ll soon be dealing with “Spring Fever.” Meanwhile, hang in there and do what you can so you won’t feel SAD.