Seasonal Sadness: Creative Little Ways to Lift Your Spirits Big Time
Generally speaking, feelings of depression and sadness are increased during winter months. This ‘winter depression’ is commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s estimated a huge 1 in 3 people suffer from SAD every year accompanied with a variety of different symptoms. Some symptoms of this condition can be relatively minor such as feeling sluggish and tired. More severe symptoms like depression and sleeping problems can occur if spirits aren’t lifted.
Luckily, rectifying SAD can be achieved without a visit to the doctor and taking pills. There’s a huge amount of creative home-care methods to counteract SAD, lift spirits and improve overall mood. If you routinely suffer from SAD symptoms every time winter and darkness hits, here are some simple techniques you can start using right now to eliminate seasonal sadness for good!
Take vitamin D supplements
We get the vast majority of our vitamin D supply from the sun. But, during winter months, the sun is often extremely lacking. The sky is filled with grey darkness as opposed to the shining sun we all know and love. Depression is actually correlated with low levels of vitamin D in the body. What better way to counteract this than taking vitamin D supplements?
Available in most health stores, vitamin D supplements come in both solid pill and chewy form. So, if you’re not good with swallowing whole pills, you have the option of a gummy vitamin instead. It’s recommended to take at least 3000 international units of vitamin D a day to get a positive effect. Eating foods rich in vitamin D (fish, eggs, yogurt etc.) is a great way to kick-start this process too.
Try out a new hobby
One of the most common symptoms of SAD is feeling tired with no energy. So, even though the thought of taking up a new hobby might seem like too much effort, it’s important to push through this barrier and try something new.
Hobbies don’t have to need much physical input, and an activity such as coloring is a great place to start. Relaxing and therapeutic, you can color from the comfort of your own home without any kind of strenuous movement involved. The Coloring Book for Me & Mandala app offers an array of intricate designs to color that have been specifically crafted to relieve stress – perfect for beating those winter blues!
Surround yourself with positive people
One of the worst things you can do for SAD is to feed its negativity by hanging out with equally negative people. If you’re feeling particularly low and miserable, arrange to meet up with friends you know are naturally positive and happy to perk you up and improve your mood.
Whilst experiencing dips in mood during winter months is extremely common, this doesn’t mean you have to put up with it! If you’re consistently feeling depressed and lethargic during this time, make the simple life changes mentioned above and you’re almost guaranteed to see positive results.
Are you affected by SAD? How do you cheer yourself up?
Great suggestions, Corinne! S.A.D. is a real problem for those of us living in northern climates and I do get a touch of it, every year. People who suffer profoundly might consider getting one of those lamps that mimic sunlight. A client had one and she said it helped a lot.
P.S. Thanks for sharing my posts!
The lamps sound so useful, Debbie.
Getting to your blog in a minute! 🙂
Of course, living in South Africa, the likelihood of SAD affecting me would be at a different time to a lot of my writing and blogging peers. So I probably wouldn’t get any sympathy if I did mention it. 🙂 Thanks for your practical suggestions though. Build a Better Blog
I understand, Shirley. It’s not a big problem in most parts of India too. I felt most of these ideas could apply to anytime we’re feeling down.
We moved to a mountaintop in Vermont last fall. January through March have been brutally gray with 30+ inches of snow. Talk about SAD and cabin fever!!! I can’t remember ever being so blue. Finally I went and got a lightbox. Within days my mood began to lift.
Glad the light-box helps, Beth. I hope the weather shifts soon too.
I remember going through this when I was in Minneapolis for a very long time. Winters were so so so depressing. So cold and so long and we would barely get to see the sun. I remember the last year there, I could have been a classic case of depression. Hobbies. Nothing else helps. Got to find something to keep yourself busy. I got hooked to shows – over and over and back to back episodes. Wrote some too, but then it’s difficult finding motivation when you’re already down.
Taking that Vitamin D in winter is no joke. I noticed a difference in my mood within a week. Vitamin B complex works wonders as well.
Interestingly, I read about how depression cases go up by 30% in summer, leading psychologists to speculate that summer and heat, and not just winter and low light, can also trigger SAD. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/seasonal-blues-summer-brings-in-depression-too/articleshow/58018024.cms
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
Hi Corinne it has been quite a while since I visited you. I’ve heard of SAD and agree with your three ways to help us get out of a funk during winter. Getting out into some sunshine really does lift the spirits and for me it is very important to surround myself with people who won’t bring you down. Have a great day!
Excellent pointers for being creative. I have to renew my hobby of drawing and painting. Thanks for reminding me, Corinne !!!
Darla M Sands
I am blessed to not notice any real effects of SAD. My first love still suffers and has Aspberger Syndrome to boot, the poor dear. Be well! At least both were ultimately diagnosed. Great tips, though.