In many places across the globe, the temperatures begin to drop between the months of November and March.
With the temperature going down, our moods can follow. People may experience tiredness, sadness, anxiety, or less than desirable mood. This phenomenon is known as the “winter blues” or Seasonal Affective Disorder. In its most severe form, the winter blues can affect roughly 4% of the U.S. population. It is most common in the northern parts of the U.S. and is believed to be caused by a limited access to natural daylight, the outdoors and the community.
Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you lessen the effects of the “winter blues” on your day-to-day living and help to make the wintery world around you just a little bit better.
The Winter Trip
One way to cure the winter gloom is to get out of it. Plan a trip for the winter months to somewhere warm and potentially new. There are plenty of cheap travel opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of. Even just planning a trip has shown to improve your mood. So what are you waiting for? Get planning!
Lunch breaks aren’t just for eating. They are also an opportunity for us to get up and walk around outside to get some well-needed sunlight. This is particularly helpful if you are spending long days in the lab designing the future moon rover or analyzing a business venture for your senior design project. Taking a brief walk outside during your lunch hour has been shown to relieve tension and improve enthusiasm. Just what you need when you’re trying to finish off your projects.
The winter months are the perfect time to bundle up on the couch or to lay back and relax in your bed. Sometimes permitting yourself to enjoy a moment of complete relaxation will make it a lot easier to get over your down mood. Watch an episode or two of your favorite show, read your favorite books or magazines, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or any other preferred winter beverage and enjoy the best time of year to slow down.
Be a butterfly even in the winter
It is important to maintain social interaction to help alleviate the effects of the winter blues. Instead of locking yourself up, plan some events with your friends, a date night with your significant other, or even call up some relatives or friends. Just talking on the phone can help you to beat the winter blues.
These are only four of the many ways you can learn to deal with the winter blues. Other suggestions include having a fun routine; for example, having one specific fun thing or event to look forward to every week. So, with the winter months upon us I suggest we enjoy ourselves, go outside and embrace the cold, make friends and socialize and if you can get out and go see the world!
For more information on seasonal affected depression check out the APA website.