Winter Blues

So it’s the dead of winter now and it seems like there is not light at the end of this dark tunnel of snow and icy temperatures. February has always been the worst month for me, the holidays have ended and the motivation from my January resolutions has started to diminish. The first quarter is also typically much quarter in my line of work, so work has a steady lull of status quo assignments and dealing with the day to day.

I miss my walks at lunch, the sunshine, and the warm summer breeze. I dread the next few months of slush, dirty boots and heavy winter coats. Just as I start to lose my mojo, I think to myself: SCREW THIS! I book a vacation down south and all of a sudden things are not so bad!

Seasonal Affective Disorder, literally SAD: a form of depression also known as SAD, seasonal depression or winter depression. People with SAD experience mood changes and symptoms similar to depression. The symptoms usually occur during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight and usually improve with the arrival of spring. The most difficult months for people with SAD in the U.S. tend to be January and February. (American Psychiatric Association)

SAD affects many people and can result in a depressed mood, loss of pleasure, changes in sleep or appetite, feelings of worthlessness and more. This is something I think I have dealt with since before it was truly recognized. The first time I heard about SAD I felt so much relief to understand that this was a true disorder, a common one too!

Here are some of the ways I have dealt with SAD. Please note, I am not a doctor and would encourage anyone who feels these symptoms to seek medical assistance.

  • Exercise to boost feel good hormones and endorphins.
  • Light therapy for warmth and to increase Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D supplements
  • Getting out of the house and being with people
  • HYGGE- the Danish art of enjoying the small things
  • Pick a cool project to work on (like a blog, arts & crafts, redecorating, etc.)
  • Self care (like giving yourself a facial or taking a bath)
  • BOOK A VACATION

Finally here are some more resources.

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/seasonal-affective-disorder

http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/depression/Pages/default.aspx

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