If you live a place where the winters are cold and dark, chances are that you experience some form of depression during the dead of winter. For some people, this is the result of a clinical condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, in which the lack of light during the winter months causes symptoms of depression that are not present during the rest of the year
Although many people do not experience the symptoms in a strong enough way to be diagnosed with S. A. D., most people do notice at least small changes in their mood during the winter months. An increased need for sleep and a lack of energy are often mentioned. The cold makes people want to curl up in their houses most of the time. In the winter, people crave foods that are warm and starchy. These foods tend be higher in fat and sugar, and contribute to our lethargy.
When all these factors combine, it is not surprising that we experience a bit of depression. Being cooped up inside make us feel trapped and isolated. It is essential to find ways to fight these feelings. Here are a few ideas for activities that can help.
Find A New Hobby
We all have things that we’ve been meaning to learn, but have yet to make the time for. Winter would be a great time to pull out that Alvarez acoustic guitar you bought ages ago and still don’t know how to play. Buy a chord book and get started! If you’ve been meaning to learn how to sew, now is the time to do it. Make good use of the extra time you are spending at home.
Leave Your Apartment
Simply leaving your house or apartment can completely change your mood. You could go see a movie, go out to dinner or brunch with a friend, or go shopping. You could make a day of searching for the perfect pair of leather brown boots, or just sit with someone for a few hours in a coffee shop. The simple act of leaving the house and changing your scenery can make things seem better and more promising.
Exercise is one of the most useful tools in combating all types of depression. It releases endorphins, which are body chemicals that lift your mood. Although it is often too cold in the winter months to exercise outside, there are definitely some days where the temperature is mild enough for a brisk walk. You could also join a gym, or, if you have weight lifting equipment at home, begin a muscle workout routine.
If you make a little bit of an attempt, the winter blahs don’t have to get the best of you. Try any of these activities, and before you know it, winter will be over and spring will be here!