Winter can wreak havoc on a person’s mood. Cold weather gives people less incentive to leave their homes and participate in outdoor activities. Less time spent in the sunshine can lead to what is commonly known as the “winter blues”. The winter blues has many of the same signs as depression, and actually is a form of depression. Isolation from others is one of the main characteristics. When a person isolates, it is far too easy to focus on one’s self and one’s own problems…which can lead to a downward spiral. There is also evidence that a lack of sunshine in a person’s life can lead to the winter blues.
There are steps you can take to help you overcome the winter blues. If you have a severe case, however, you may need professional treatment.
-Make an effort to allow more natural light into .your home Open the blinds or curtains. If you have trees or shrubs that need trimming in order to let more light in, then do some trimming. Sit by a window when reading or spending time on the computer.
-Spend some time outside every day, even if only for a few moments. Take a walk. Sit on the porch and read. Spend some time outside in meditation or prayer as you take in the sun.
-Exercise is one of the best ways to battle depression of any kind. When you exercise you release good endorphins which directly affect your mood. Exercise also has a tendency to improve your self-esteem because you feel better about yourself when you are doing things that are good for you.
-Do something you love each day. Spend some time each day doing something that you enjoy. This may be reading, writing, cooking, or chatting with a friend. Whatever it is, take time to indulge yourself.
-Keep in touch with family and friends. It can be tempting to isolate yourself when you are experiencing the winter blues. Try to avoid this trap. Instead, make an effort to reach out to family and friends through a phone call or a visit each day.