As I write this, the weather outside plays at false spring. The sun is shining, the skies are endlessly blue, whipped with an occasional white cloud that moves by quickly and without threat. Earlier it was raining. Tomorrow it will be snowing.
The winter months can be depressing. Shorter days and lack of sunlight bring our moods down. We struggle just to make it through to the spring, hoping that relief will come in April. We lock ourselves away from the bitter night winds and huddle under blankets and layers of warm clothing.
Like all the rest of nature, we need sunlight to survive. Without it, our souls wither. According to NIMH,
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.
I know the worst months seem to never end, and the sunlit spring goes too quickly. But in these dormant months of housebound seclusion and shorter days, we can put our energy and work into other things. Instead of socializing with friends and going on outdoor adventures, the winter months are a wonderful time to start new projects.
Let’s take a look at a list of things you can do to combat the winter blues.
Learn a new skill
Read all the books
Write a book of your own
Complete a puzzle
Start a yoga routine
Sort through your things
Take a warm bath
Start a bullet journal
Make a playlist
Plan a vacation
It’s ok to slow down in the winter. It should be a time of restoration, self care, and reflection. Take the extra time you need in order to be ok. If this means spending more time alone, take it. If that means putting your work on the front burner and powering through, do it. Just keep going and eventually things will improve. Remember to take care of yourself too, just like you take care of your loved ones. It’s also ok to put your needs first sometimes. Make sure your emotions and mental health are stable. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Hang in there, friends! Winter only lasts 3 months! The days have already begun to grow longer! We can make it through!
Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications!