Around 20% of people have some seasonal dips in mood in the winter and another 5% have full on seasonal depression. Below are some tips to help you combat the winter blues.
1.) Counseling- Through counseling people can learn a toolbox of coping skills to help combat the winter blues. A person can go to counseling on a weekly or biweekly basis during the winter months depending on how severely his or her mood has dropped.
2.) Light Therapy- Involves sitting in front of an intense light for 15-20 minutes per day.
3.) Dawn Simulator- A dawn simulator is a machine that can help you to wake up in the morning without feeling so groggy. It works off a timer and will gradually brighten up the room for those of you who wake up early and have a hard time getting out of the bed in the morning when it’s so dark outside.
4.) Diet- Fight the urge to splurge on carbohydrates. You will feel better if you are eating healthier foods over the winter than if you are taking a lot of junk into your body.
5.) Exercise- Exercise will help warm you up when it’s cold outside and will release chemicals in the brain that can combat depression.
6.) Vitamin D- There is less sunshine during the winter months and we therefore take in less Vitamin D. A Vitamin D supplement can help from a Vitamin D deficiency during the winter months.
7.) Socialize- Get together with a friend over a warm cup of coffee. The warmth of the friendship will help even more than the warmth of the coffee!
8.) Cuddles- Cuddling with your spouse or significant other in front of a fireplace while watching a movie can make the cold nights more enjoyable. Cuddles with your kids are nice too!
9.) Wear bright colors- Just because the bright colors of nature are not as present during the winter months does not mean that you cannot create your own brightness!
10.) Embrace seasonal activities and foods- Seasonal activities and foods can make the winter months much more enjoyable. Activities such as skiing followed by a nice warm hot tub will make the winter months more worth it!