The excitement and busyness of the holiday season is over. While this might be a relief for many, it leaves us with the dreary winter to look forward to. For a lot of people winter can be a really difficult time. The holiday season provides a bit of reprieve and gives us something to focus our attention on. As the holiday season ends we find ourselves in full blown winter, with spring nowhere in sight. Depending on where you leave, winter can bring about a lot of fun and activity. Right now in Saskatchewan, all it brings is a whole lot of cold.
So how do we battle the winter blues? Well first I should say there is a whole lot of difference between the winter blues and dealing with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or clinical depression. For more information on SAD click here. If you think that your winter blues is more serious, please check in with your doctor or health care provider. For those of you who just don’t like winter and go through a little slump, here are a few ideas to help you manage until spring.
- Check your Vitamin D levels. Many of us in northern climates are deficient in vitamin D and low levels are can make us feel down and sluggish.
- Stay active. If you like winter activities, all the power to you! If you live where the air hurts your face, keep active by going to the gym, taking a class or doing an online fitness programs.
- Be social. PJ and movie days are okay from time to time, but don’t forget to get some social contact. Isolation can leave us feeling lonely, anxious, and sad, and makes the winter months seem longer. Have friends over or set up a skype or facetime chat.
- Get outside (when possible). Get out for a walk, get some fresh, try out a new (or forgotten) winter activity. Use caution when it is really cold and dress accordingly. Even a quick 5 or 10 minute stint outside can help relieve stress and restlessness that comes with being cooped up inside.
It seems like we should be used to the cold and snow; it’s not like it is a surprise. Even though we know it is coming, winter can still seem long and brutal. What helps you get through it?