With daylight saving time ending, and sunlit hours growing shorter, many people will be struggling with symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). An estimated 10 million Americans struggle with SAD, and women are more than four times as likely as men to have it. As a mental health issue, SAD is more than just being down about the cold and gloom of the winter months – it actually tends to keep you down and affects you day after day. If you suspect you might have this disorder, you should talk to your doctor about it.
If you’re wondering how to beat those common winter blues or looking for a way to improve your outlook (whether you have SAD or not), here are some things you can try:
- Stay Busy: While it may seem easier to hunker down in your cozy home, try to get out and get some exercise, run errands and do something fun. You can also boost your spirits by helping others.
- Stay Healthy: The average weight gain during the winter months is 5 to 7 pounds. Stock your home with healthy food choices, and try to keep the processed foods to a minimum. While a little bit of comfort food now and then might serve a purpose, eating too much of it may only make you feel worse. Eating healthy food has a way of making you feel lighter, which may support a more positive outlook. Added tips: Stay hydrated and get plenty of vitamin C.
- Mind Your Emotions: Starting the day with a positive affirmation can really help you keep your mind in a happy place for the rest of the day. Your morning routine could set you off on a positive or negative foot for the next 16 hours, so be mindful of how you begin the day. If negative emotional energy is hiding out in your body, you may be more likely to feel those emotions all the time. Energy healing with The Emotion Code® can help you let go of them.
- Stay Connected: Organize a “winter blues” group. Rotate locations and plan fun, uplifting events and activities. You could all learn to cook something new, invite new friends to an activity to get to know new people or play games and have appetizers.
- Celebrate the Season: The colder season is chock full of holidays that can bring you cheer. Use them as a time to have fun and celebrate life.
It doesn’t take much to power yourself through the cold season. Through a little mindfulness, gratitude, imagination, creativity and courage, you can turn the winter blues into beautiful memories.
By Dr. Bradley Nelson