It’s that time of year again: less sunshine, and long, dark days. Winter has arrived, and with it, the cold and endless stretch of time. While some of us embrace this period of semi-hibernation, others experience a pervasive sense of dread, hopelessness, and just plain blah.
You don’t need a formal diagnosis to recognize that you could be suffering from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, but there are lots of things you can do to better manage it. Below are some tips to help if you’re dealing with SAD.
1. KEEP THINGS LIGHT
When it’s cold and dreary outside, light up the indoors with a light that mimics that of the sun. These lights are widely available, and can provide that much-needed dose of serotonin.
2. MAKE SELF-CARE A PRIORITY
Take advantage of the slower days by spending quality time on your well-being. Long, hot showers or baths are soothing, as is a slow yoga session. Staying hydrated will help save your skin from suffering the dry air, and eating clean can aid a digestive system wreaked by holiday indulgence. Consider a vitamin regimen that will boost your immunity and energy.
Everyone is burned out, including you. Listen to your body, and take your rest. Create rituals that encourage restful sleep so that you look forward to settling down.
The dark mornings are begging for your attention. Try a short meditation upon waking, and another before you settle into bed at night.
5. GET INTO NATURE
Brown trees stripped bare does not equal loss; nature is simply participating in its own restorative cycle. Take a walk and observe the quiet activity of nature.
6. MAKE PLANS
We all need something to look forward to, right? Find purpose through a project, learn a new skill, reconnect with someone important to you, or plan some travel. Excitement, challenge, and anticipation can help you cope through a seemingly endless season, and before you know it, Spring will make itself present.