Many people suffer from depressive moods in winter time. The darker days and bad weather can put a strain on us all. After all we know that the sun’s rays boosts levels of serotonin in our bodies meaning that we feel happier with more sun exposure; less sun, less serotonin to make us happy.
In autumn just as it’s turning colder there’s the beautiful colours of greens changing to reds and golds to keep us occupied; and the start of winter calls for Christmas preparations and celebrations, a happy feeling of togetherness fills the cold air.
But what happens when Christmas is over? When all the leaves on the trees have gone? When the celebrations are done? It’s easy to become lost in depression and to believe that there’s nothing left to look forward to.
So if we know we suffer from sadness in winter, what can we do to fight it?
- Keep positive. Easy to say I know, but actively stopping your thoughts when you know they’re heading the wrong way, can do wonders to help bring you out of depressive moods. Don’t interact with the negative thoughts and…
- Find something else to focus on. Take your mind away and get it focused on something else such as a good book, cooking, exercise, anything. Find a new hobby, a new interest, get some dates in your diary, start filling up your free time and you’ll soon see a difference in your mood.
- Realise no one has a perfect life. I’m not saying the whole – there’s always someone worse off than you – thing. I’m saying, when you look around and it seems that others are having the time of their life, they’re probably thinking the exact same thing about you. Whether we realise it or not, we all “put a face on” when we’re in public and so to the world, all is perfect. Realising that we all have our own crosses to bear, may help you to remember that you’re not alone in the way you feel.
- Don’t sleep more than you would in the summer. Make your days last longer by not sleeping extra just because it’s dark outside. Set yourself to-do lists and schedule your time to keep your brain moving and focused on getting your tasks done.
- Wrap up warm and get outside. It’s said that even just 15 minutes outside in direct sunlight helps to boost your mood. So get some layers on (and the wet weather gear) and go for a stroll. Go on, the first step is the hardest.
- Make time for family and friends. It’s so easy just to shut yourself away and hibernate until summer time. But socialising and talking to the people that you enjoy seeing, is a great way to remind yourself that you do connect with other people and that you can have a good time.
- Don’t rely on alcohol to lift your mood. We all know a bad mood and alcohol (or un-prescribed drugs) do not mix. You don’t want to add a night of regrets to your mental stresses.
- Do something for yourself. If your brain is too cluttered and won’t let you stop, look up some relaxation tips online or give meditation a go. Also, listening to your heart is a good way of doing something for yourself. Really look inside and think about what you would like to do if there were no obstacles in front of you. Then plan it. What’s stopping you?
If you think it may be more than just the winter blues, it may mean that some real changes or professional help is needed to help you stay in the light.
Do you have any tips that you would to share that help you to fight the winter blues?