Well, the time change is here, and unfortunately, it’s one of the causes of Seasonal Depression. For those who don’t know what seasonal depression is (otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, abbr. SAD), it’s a type of depression that often occurs during the same season each year – for most, that season is mid fall through winter. Causes can be: lack of vitamin D (which is naturally derived from the sun), the time change, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and other causes still not known.
I have a very mild case of seasonal depression that mainly occurs during the harsher winter months such as January and February, and, for me, it’s normally just caused by lack of sunlight. These are some of the things that I’ve found helpful, and according to research, they also help more severe bouts of Seasonal Depression.
Take a vitamin D supplement. The Sun provides vitamin D, and if there’s less sun, you’re probably not be absorbing enough. I suggest taking 1,000-2,000 IU a day.
Diffuse essential oils. The essential oils I like to diffuse are citrus ones: such as grapefruit, lemon, and orange. Clary sage is a really good one too. One of my favorite blends is Joy. Another blend I would recommend trying would be Motivation.
Exercise. Lack of exercise can cause you to feel down, believe it or not! I like to take long walks in the fall (part of the reason is now that the weather is cooler, I’m not sweating from the heat), jump rope, and hula hoop! All of that gets you moving but is a lot more fun than regular exercises. (Get some jazzy music going too!)
Stick to a routine. Unless you are a person who thrives on inconsistency, sticking to a routine really helps your body to better adjust to everything else that is different. Try not to change so many things up. It really doesn’t like that.
Find a project to do, focus on it, and get motivated. I find that lack of motivation is one of the symptoms for myself. I have a hard time getting motivated and staying motivated in the winter. I find that if you’re feeling blue and down it really helps to find something to do, instead of sitting down and reading a novel or watching TV. Think of a project to start, and really focus on it.
Use a light simulator. Light simulators are alarm clocks that wake you up like the sun – slowly increasing light. It’s supposed to wake you up slowly and not with a jerk, which can interfere with how you feel after waking up.
Get out of the house and have fun. Do not be a hermit. I repeat, do not be a hermit. I’m a home-maker –in-training. I stay at home and seldom go out. Once in a while though, I need a change of pace, and likely you do too, especially if you stay around home a lot. And listen, I don’t mean every day, but twice a month, plan something. Get together with your friends, go on a shopping date with yourself, swing by a coffee shop, take a jewelry class, and go see a play; do whatever you like to do! Plan two days a month, and don’t put it off. It’s really nice to have something to look forward to. (This also can work in reverse: i.e. if you are out all the time, have days where you hang out at home by the fireplace with a cup of tea!)
So what about you? Do you have seasonal depression, SAD, or winter blues? What are your tips?
And is there anyone here who hates winter like I do? Please?