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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?

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14 thoughts on “Beat the Winter Blues

  1. Evaluate your relationships closet. If you find you are maintaining relationships with people who bring you down and are negative, then move on and find more positive people to bring into your life.

  2. Great tips, Lisa! It’s a bit difficult not sleeping in when it’s still dark outside. But I am going to try and break the habit. I’ll go to the early morning ballet classes instead of the afternoon ones. Getting outside and staying active is so important.

    Last year, God put me in situations where I had to take a long, hard look at my friendships and I had to let some people go. Spend less time around people who said things to bring me down and I am better for it!

    thanks for sharing,

    Donna

    • Thanks Donna. Good luck with getting up, early morning ballet sounds like a lovely way to start the day. Saying goodbye to people is never easy but when it’s best for everyone involved those tough decisions need to be made. I’m glad you are stronger for your choice. Thanks for stopping by x

  3. These are excellent suggestions – it’s amazing how simply reading a list such as this one evokes feelings of positivity…I feel better already! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I’ve fought with Seasonal Affective Disorder for years. In 2011, right after getting married, the depression began to kick in. One the recommendation of my brother-in-law (who also fights this) I got a light therapy box. It’s been absolutely amazing how well it helps me. It’s not an absolute cure, there’s still some of the winter blah, but it’s much more tolerable that it used to be.

    Your tip of getting outside is also important. I get outside to walk or jog at least once a day, regardless of the weather, and I always feel better for it. If it’s raining (Which is often, living in the Seattle area) I take an umbrella and have a nice walk enjoying the sounds of the raindrops above me. It helps me keep a positive outlook on my surroundings – embrace the weather, don’t fight it, and you’ll have less reason to feel miserable. 🙂

    • Jason thank you for sharing your experience of SAD with me. That’s great to know those light boxes can offer some relief; my dad has SAD I am sure so perhaps I will suggest this to him – can’t hurt. I’m in England so I hear you on the not leaving home without a brolly thing! Yes embracing the winter is a great tip, after all there’s not really a lot we can do about it. Thanks again Jason x

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