The nights are drawing in sooner than later. The air outside is cold and biting. Vacation time is probably over for another year. The winter season is upon us, and like many people, your mood state might be less than cheery. Are you at risk of the winter slump?
At this time of year, low moods are common. For people already suffering from depression, their condition can be made worse because of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This condition can also affect those people who, for most of the year, have a relatively upbeat state of mind. But going beyond SAD, this can still be a gloomy time of year for many of us, as we mourn the fun and freedom of the summer months.
Thankfully, despite the doom and gloom we have just portrayed, there are ways to rise of out a winter slump. Take a look below, and if you’re currently feeling blue, consider our suggestions.
#1: Take something for your depression
While we will be listing ideas that don’t involve medication, you might still decide to take something if you find yourself struggling during the winter. Your doctor will advise a range of medications to help you, but you might also consider those natural treatments that have proven qualities to reduce depressive feelings. As examples, you might want to consider organic CBD oil, St John’s wort, or ginseng. Of course, if you are already taking antidepressants, you should see your doctor before adding any kind of supplement to your regular dosage of medication.
#2: Get out of the house
You might be reluctant to leave the house when the weather is cold, but if the conditions outside aren’t treacherous, you should still make the effort to do something. Follow our suggestions on days out, and visit warmer places indoors, such as your local museum or theatre, and if it’s not too cold, enjoy the depression-beating effects of exercise and fresh air with a scenic walk. Any change of scenery will do you good, especially if your mood slips lower when confined to the four walls of your house.
#3: Get off the sofa
It can be easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle during the winter months, but too much time sitting on the sofa isn’t good for either your mental or physical health. So, try to find things to do that don’t require a lot of sitting, such as the ideas suggested above, or by finding ways to keep fit around your house. So, you might crack on with the housework, dance around your house to your favourite beats, do a little gardening, or work out to a YouTube fitness video, as just a few examples. Especially when the weather is mercilessly cold, try and do at least one activity a day if you’re stuck at home for hours on end. After all, anything’s better than enduring the mind-numbing boringness of daytime TV.
#4: Do something that will make you laugh
They say laughter is the best medicine, so if you’re feeling down in the dumps, don’t dwell in your misery. Rewatch your favourite comedy movies, hang out with those people who make you smile and giggle, and relive comical moments from your life in your mind. Taking your focus away from the gloominess you feel, you might soon start to feel happier when following these suggestions. Be sure to do anything else that will relax your body and lift your stresses, and do so on a daily basis to escape any feelings of negativity.
#5: Cut out your bad habits
You have probably made attempts to quit your bad habits already, of course. But if you’re prone to depression at this time of year, you should let your mental health be an incentive for making another concerted effort to give up. Some habits, such as drinking alcohol and eating junk food, are going to exacerbate the way you feel. Instead, you should form better habits by partaking of those healthy drinks and foods that are going to lift your mood instead of causing it to drop. This isn’t easy, we know, especially with Christmas coming up, but you should still make the effort to live healthier during the winter months, as this will stand you in good stead for the rest of the year.
So, rise out of your winter slump by focussing on each aspect we have discussed in this article. You will soon start to feel better if you do, and despite the gloominess outside, you won’t have to feel the same inside your mind. Let us know what you think, and if you have any other suggestions for our readers, be sure to share them with us so we can all escape the winter slump.