Most of us have experienced some form of the winter blues. Colder weather makes it more difficult to enjoy the outdoors, and shorter days mean less sunlight for our enjoyment. For some people, however, this seasonal sadness is more severe.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
The National Institute of Mental Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health, defines seasonal affective disorder as a specific kind of depression that varies with the seasons. Most commonly, these mood drops occur in Fall and Winter, then subside at the onset of Spring. There are some things that may increase your risk of suffering from a seasonal affective disorder, and one of them is living far away from the equator. Interestingly, 1% of Floridians report symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, compared to 9% of New England’s population.
Whether you have been officially diagnosed with a seasonal affective disorder or if you are just trying to lift your spirits during the colder months, trying some of the following tips will put you on the track to happiness.
1. Instead of languishing beside your windows, go outside! It may be cold, but take advantage of the occasional warmer day or even days when the sun is shining to take a walk. Visit relaxing spots like Weymouth, MA cafes or coffee shops. Bring your work with you!
2. Brighten your days by trying some new foods or indulging in your favorite comfort foods. Whether you make the meals yourself or visit cafes in Weymouth, MA, you can find joy in the act of eating with friends and family.
3. Get moving! Mayo Clinic says that exercise eases the symptoms of both depression and anxiety. If the weather isn’t on your side, head to the gym or find some floor exercises you can do at home. All that matters is that you get your blood pumping.
Whether you choose to make major changes in your life or just relish the small things, winter doesn’t have to be a sad time for those of us in New England.