I took this picture of one of the snow sculptures at a recent Winter Fest in our town and it brought to mind winter blues. Those feelings of ‘ugh, another dreary cold day’ or ‘no sunshine again’ or ‘I am tired of winter’. Unless you live in the land of eternal sunshine (most days), as many as six percent of the population (four times more common in women than in men) experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and another 14% of the adult population live with what is known as winter blues, a milder form of SAD.
I will admit, I experience winter blues some days and I am always thinking about ways to combat those feelings that could start out with ‘I don’t really want to do anything today’ kind of feeling. Multiple authors write that these feelings may be triggered by a lack of sunlight, as well as a possible genetic predisposition to these symptoms. So in thinking about ways to work through these feelings……….
- Plan a positive experience for myself a few days a week.
- Get outside for a walk, even if it is a short walk, as this will release those endorphins in the brain (neurochemicals that boost mental health).
- Eat more organic Vitamin D – rich foods, such as mushrooms and seafood.
- Give myself some very specific tasks to accomplish in the week (I write them down).
- Watch a comedy movie (laughing also releases endorphins).
- Strategically plan my garden for spring (even ordering a few plants or seeds).
- Think about what type of vacation I would like to plan to take.
Popular articles also discuss options of increasing Vitamin D intake through supplements and the use of Light Therapy. Obviously, if either of these are your choice of action, you need to consult your doctor first.
Anne Bradstreet, a poet, said “If we had no winter the spring would not be so pleasant.” I do believe that hope springs eternal in that this winter too shall pass. I WILL smell the freshness of early spring flowers and budding trees!