There’s nothing more overwhelming than having the winter blues (aka seasonal depression). Unlike regular depression, seasonal depression occurs during the Fall/Winter season and subsides toward the beginning of Spring. Although it is temporary, the winter blues still impacts your mental health. Here are seven ways you can combat the winter blues this season.
1. Release all emotions and energy
The first thing you should consider doing to combat the blues is releasing all negative energy. Cry, scream, yell, or throw a pillow across the room. Do whatever you need to do to release all your pent-up energy. Anything that has disrupted your peace must go.
2. Get active
While working out is ideal for boosting your mood, you might not be completely mentally engaged to do so. Start small by cleaning your space, washing your hair, or doing breathing exercises. Move around in some form to bring energy back into your body. When you feel up to it, work your way up to more mild physical activities.
3. Write your feelings
Even though it will be hard in the beginning, journaling will help combat the blues immensely. In the heat of the moment, write about anything that has disturbed your peace. It’s better to write your feelings at the moment than to hold them in and never express them.
Social media can wait, but the time to focus on your mental health cannot. Social media can be toxic and distracting in ways that we may not realize. Start slowly by limiting your time on socials or only checking certain apps. Alternatively, you can go cold turkey and delete all of your social media apps and turn off your phone. Reclaim your energy and focus on improving your mental health. Keep yourself busy by taking up some new hobbies such as candle-making or painting.
5. Consider light therapy
A new way to combat the winter blues is light therapy. Light therapy is a method that treats seasonal depression by exposure to artificial light. The purpose of the light is to mimic outdoor lighting. You can use a light therapy box or a lamp for this method.
Pro tip: If you’re going to use a lamp for light therapy, use it within twenty minutes of you waking up for an instant mood boost.
6. Eat healthier foods
It might sound redundant, but incorporating more nutritious foods into your diet during the winter season helps boost your mood tremendously. If you find it hard to eat, try eating something small like crackers, soup, or jello. Chewing gum also helps to work up an appetite.
7. Talk to someone
Consider reaching out to a close friend or loved one about your feelings. If you have the means, seek professional help as well. Remember, you’re not alone and should never have to feel like it.