Seasonal Affective Disorder is a buzzword around the end of Fall and throughout Winter. Yes, it is a thing. No, it doesn’t effect everyone. It is seasonal and is, for the most part, temporary.
I generally have an issue with labeling. Sometimes labeling can make you feel worse or stigmatized. Sometimes it gives an answer to how you have been feeling. This blog is to address the bleqiness that can come from the Winter months.
I, myself, have a hard time with the early nights, COLD and feeling cooped up inside. It can get me down, it can make me feel bleq. Do I have SAD? No, I have a case of the “Winters.” I’m not clinically depressed, I just don’t like Winter. I miss my flip flops, evening strolls, being outside in general!
It’s a huge transition we just went through in Toronto. It can feel like yesterday that kids were out playing, you could go for a bike ride and make a warm trip up or down for the weekend. There were hints of it, Halloween was rainy, earlier in the month there was a tease of flurries. Than BAM Winter rears it’s ugly head. But it is a transition and transitions mean change and that can be uncomfortable, especially if you weren’t ready (even though it happens every year). I wasn’t ready. To be honest, I usually am not. Every year I hope we can at least get through November without some blustery winds, below freezing temps and snow.
I look at people who love Winter and think, yes, it can be beautiful and I wish the cold didn’t bother me. I’m no Elsa! It is hard for me, like so many of you, to suddenly be in doors all the time. On the bright side, I do like the cozy clothes.
So how do people suffering from a case of the “Winters” like me get through it?
Here are some things that help me each year:
1. Get in some Vitamin D.
When you have less sun exposure during the Winter months, you may be lacking in this essential vitamin. When you don’t have enough it can drain you of energy, you can lose motivation and feel down. It’s a great natural pick me up!
2. Try to stay as close to your “normal” routine as possible.
For example, if you are used to taking an after dinner walk, look for a way to get out of the house around the same time for an errand or a quick snow ball fight (you are never too old!)
3. Embrace the cold!
Take on a winter sport, even sledding counts! Acceptance of Winter is key here. (I eventually get there! Give me a couple of weeks!)
4. Take a trip.
If you can afford it both with both work and money, take a quick trip to somewhere warm. I know that during the winter you can find some good deals out there.
5. Create a list of indoor activities that keep you lively.
Try making different types of hot cocoa, start a puzzle, binge on a new show and get someone
to join you (or you join them), start a game night, go to a pub, get out and see a movie, learn to cook new dish you’ve been eyeing, take a class, learn a new dance move, check out a Meetup group! the list is yours to make, these hopefully jog some ideas that work for you!
Whether is it SAD or a case of the “Winters” these tips can help. If you feel like you need more help or are feeling like these tips aren’t helping, get in touch with me to schedule some time! I have more tricks up my sleeves to help get you through it.
~Amira Lodhi, MSW