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  • Writer's pictureChloe Cooper

Easing the Seasonal Blues

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

Here are some tips for thriving through the cold, winter months.

Do you find yourself struggling through the cold, winter months? You are not alone. This article will provide you with helpful tips to get through the winter blues.

Easing the Seasonal Blues

Chloe Cooper
January 2022

Many times people enjoy the change in the seasons, and look forward to the new sights, smells, and holidays accompanied with the various seasons. For others, it can be a difficult time of dread, depression, unrest, and loss of pleasure. Seasonal Affective Disorder happens to be a real illness for many during the seasonal changes. One may find their mood changing, and that they report feeling “Off”. It is encouraged to see your medical doctor or mental health provider to inform them you may be feeling this way, to get the support, you need to make the transition into these new seasons.

So, what can you do if you can’t change the weather and stop winter from coming? Well, neither of these things you have control over, but you can do things to help yourself to avoid becoming depressed with the change in seasons, and overall improve your mood. A few of these tips are suggested by clinical psychologists to help ease your symptoms:

Medication: sometimes medication, including those used to treat Major Depression Disorder can help to improve your mood. Please see your medical doctor or psychiatrist to find out which ones would be right for you, and if you would be a good candidate to take medication.

Light therapy: Some studies suggest that the use of a lamp that gives off artificial, natural light, can help to improve your mood. This is done by the brain interpreting the light as that like sunlight, which in the fall in winter months can be more absent than in the summer. One recommended brand is the Verilux, happy light which can be found online.

Exercise: Getting your body to move in the winter can be a struggle, but consider a brisk walk, or yoga to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. It is suggested exercise can increase a brain chemical known as serotonin that creates a pleasurable, and happier mood.

Get outside: Sometimes many begin to feel depressed because they may feel confined to the indoors, if weather is permissible try to get outside, or sit near windows if you can.

Keep warm: Dress appropriately for the weather, and consider wearing extra layers, or using a blanket to help keep you warm. Hot drinks, such as cider, tea, and coffee can help to warm you on the inside, plus it can be a festive, or yummy treat to break up your school or work day. Just consider the caffeine content in each drink to make sure you are not having the late afternoon caffeine jitters.

Take up a new hobby: Fall and winter can become boring, but consider taking up a new hobby, or learn about something new. This can help you to use your time wisely and have some fun past times. (A few ideas: Knitting, painting, model planes, sudoku, or Legos).

Make plans with family or friends: Being around people you care about can drastically help you to feel less alone in depression. It can help to do a pleasurable activity with others, whether it is getting lunch, seeing a movie, touring a local pumpkin patch, or baking together. It can also help you to feel like you have something to look forward to each week.

Coping skills list: Consider sitting down on your own or with your counselor to create a coping skills list. This list can be your go-to plan for when you begin to feel yourself slip into a funk with the seasonal changes. A few to mention would be: taking 5 deep breaths, calling a friend, watching a funny movie, journaling, crafting, walking your dog, painting your nails, doing a face mask, playing a game, or researching new recipes to make for that season.

The seasons we cannot change, but we can change the way we let them affect us. If you still feel that you need more support, consider making an appointment with your medical professional or mental health counselor. It is a real disorder and needs proper treatment. Consider talking to a close family member or trusted friend about how you are feeling and ask them to help support you. The seasons do not have to be dreadful, but with these couple of tips, it is my hope that you will be able to ease your symptoms.


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