The time of the year is upon us where the temperature outside is getting colder and the days are getting shorter. I don't know about anyone else, but I personally do not like the idea of the sun going down at 5:00.
I am the first to admit that when the weather gets colder it effects my overall mood. While mile mood changes may be common, the other end of the spectrum is what doctors call Season Affective Disorder. SAD can be a very serious problem and may need to be treated with antidepressants. Talk to your doctor if you feel that your mood and overall well-being may be seriously affected by the change in seasons. For those of us who experience mild mood changes based on the changing of the season, here are a few ways to battle against the winter blues.
Sunlight -The best way to fight the winter blues is to make sure you are getting enough natural light. You can accomplish this by opening up the shades in your house to let in more light. You can also spend more time outside during daylight hours taking a walk or doing yard work. Those who do not have the ability to get sunlight during the day can change the bulbs in their lights at work or at home to an ultraviolet bulb. There are also special ultraviolet lamps that can be easily transported from your home to the office. The key is to get as much sunlight as possible during the short days.
Exercise - Exercise has been proven to help your mood and overall happiness. There have been countless times I have been in a really bad mood that has been changed by doing exercise. Exercise can be more difficult during the winter months so you may have to get creative. If you like working out in cold weather you can go for a run or a walk during the day. If cold weather is not your cup of tea, you may have to either get a membership at a gym or do exercise at home. Either way, exercise is just what the doctor ordered to boost your energy and get your mood right during the colder months.
Socialize - Some people react to the weather getting colder by staying indoors. It is during the winter months that we recede to our houses to stay warm. Socializing with others can be key to our mental well being. Spend some time with friends doing limited outdoor activities, or invite people over to your house to have a meal and talk. When we spend time with others who are close to us, it helps us to overcome the winter blues.
Talk To A Doctor - If you feel that none of the things mentioned above are working for you, and your energy and mood progressively get worse, you may need to talk to your doctor. There is no shame whatsoever in taking medicine to help you with your mental well-being. The first and hardest step is to admit that there is a problem in the first place. If you see a friend or loved one who may be struggling this winter, take the time to ask them how they are doing and encourage them. Sometimes we need to talk to those we love about what they are going through.