As the holiday festivities come to an end during what are some of the darkest days of the year, you might start realizing that you are feeling a bit down. Or maybe you have been feeling gloomy all through the season, for no clear reason. dDon’t worry; you’re not alone – this may be what is commonly known as the “winter blues,” and it’s actually a medically defined phenomenon called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
In fact, it’s the decrease in daylight during the winter months that can affect people’s outlook and motivation. An estimated 10 million Americans have SAD, a condition characterized by the same symptoms as major depression — but it’s related to the changing seasons, and most often with winter (as opposed to summer). While anyone can experience this disorder, women are four times as likely as men to come down with this seasonal case of depression.
If you’re worried you might have SAD, especially if you notice that you’re experiencing severe symptoms of depression, you should talk to your doctor about what you’ve been experiencing. Meanwhile, we’ll share some tips that can help fend off minor cases of ther winter blues so you can have a happier, healthier season.
You probably already know exercise is good for you – your New Year’s resolution might even have been to get more active in 2019. The great news is, any time you exercise, your body releases endorphins – happy hormones – that will help you to feel better, eat better, and sleep better. After a good workout session, you’ll probably find you have a brighter outlook on life, no matter how dreary and cold it is outside!
Spend Time With Friends
Quality time with friends is another thing that will easily boost your mood. Many studies have found that being around loving people for even a little bit each day can have a huge positive effect on health and brain function. Been cooped up in the house for a while? Set up a lunch date with your best friend, hit the mall for some people watching, or give a friend a call and have a long chat. In no time, you’ll feel like a load has been lifted off your shoulders and those blues will begin to fade away.
Listen to Happy Music
New research shows that listening to music can lift (or reinforce) your mood and ultimately lead to a greater quality of life. So this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of these benefits. Even more, experts say that people can successfully improve their moods and boost their overall happiness in just two weeks! Get you Ricky Martin or Shakira’s playlist and let the music elevate your spirits!
Plan a Vacation
It might sound silly to plan a summer vacation in January but trust us: it’ll help. Even if it’s a trip from your wish list, getting caught up in the details will give you something fun to think about other than the bleak weather and remind you that it won’t always be winter. Have fun with it! Check out resorts, look at photos of sunny beaches, and let yourself imagine you’re there. You might even end up making the trip your next saving goal!