Argh! The Darkness is here!
Just this morning I walked kids to school and it was still dark. We ate dinner in the moonlight just yesterday. And in the normal dinner time. Fall darkness is here, and winter time blues is just ahead of us. Don’t let the season take you down, instead enjoy it to the fullest!
Daylight Savings Time on November 4th and it’s time to get prepared! I’m trying to resist my urge to stay home and eat chocolate and encouraging you to get outdoors too, but let’s be serious for a moment – this darkness can affect you more than you want to, but luckily there are a few things to do to prevent the seasonal blues. Thanks to therapist, author and Positive Living Expert,Diane Lang helping us with the tips to prevent the winter blues, however this advice is only for inspiring purposes, so make sure to read the seasonal affective disorder symptoms on the bottom of the post, and consult with a doctor if you think you might suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD.
10 ways to avoid seasonal blues
There really is such a thing as a medical condition as Seasonal Affective Disorder, but the seasonal changes can effect all of us. Read these tips to avoid seasonal, or winter blues, so you can live life to the fullest even during the darkest and coldest months of the year.
1. Let the light in
Let the light in, even when you are indoors. Roll up the curtains, move your desk near the windows, and enjoy all of the sunlight you can get.
2. Go outdoors
Go outdoors during the daylight hours. There are so many fun things you can do outdoors, and you will feel so much better after you got some fresh air in your lungs and enjoyed some sunlight.
3. Add lighting and brightness at home
Make sure your home is well lit – even when there is no light coming in from outside. Add lighting fixtures, higher watt light bulbs and add some artificial light indoors, even when the sun is not shining.
4. Make time for friends
Yes, I know… the couch, the TV, candles, glass of wine.. all very tempting and please enjoy those at home this season too, but promise me to get out and meet up with your friends too. Adding more social activities where you will be surrounded with friends can give the extra support you need to stay positive throughout the winter months.
Add exercise into your daily routine – exercise, even just walking, produces endorphins and reduces stress hormones at the same time so you get a boost of happiness. The American Heart Association, as well as countless other health authorities, recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week for a total of 1.5 hours of exercise per week. That’s only 1.33% of your total week! If you need someone to motivate you, check out FitOrbit or Mamavation.
6. Go on a vacation
Fill your fall days with daydreaming of traveling and then make those dreams come true and start actually planning a vacation. Planning is part of fun, and then you will have something to look forward to. If seasonal sports like skiing isn’t for you – go somewhere warm and sunny to escape the coldness. If you don’t have a large budget, plan a local foodie road trip and have a staycation close by, getaway is a getaway, it doesn’t matter how many miles you travel.
7. Don’t forget your vitamins
Getting enough the right vitamins is more important during winter months than you think of. There is a connection between mood disorders and vitamin D deficiency and according to the National Library of Medicine, and B vitamins help your body process the foods you eat better to make energy. Get vitamin supplements or add foods that have the daily dose of vitamin D and B to your diet.
8. Take breaks
Taking a break gives your brain and body a chance to recharge and you will have more energy afterwards. Have fika, like they call a coffee break in Sweden, don’t just have a snack on-the-go. Stop working and relax for even 10-15 minutes and even if you don’t drink coffee, have a glass of water – or a fruit loaded with vitamins.
9. Have fun
Have more fun, and instead of just planning on “fun moments,” make every day life more fun. Be silly, listen to music that puts you in good mood, dance a little.. you get the picture. There are several ways to have fun that are actually good for your health!
10. Seek out motivation – or help
If you are feeling blue, and none of the above tips help, and talking with your spouse of family isn’t doing it for you either, seek out professional help or turn into motivational books, for example by Diane Lang, or Brendon Burchard. Often motivation and a little kick in the butt, or seeing things in a new light will make a big difference.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
While the tips hopefully help you to stay living life to the fullest during the dark fall and winter season, here is a check list of seasonal affective disorder symptoms.
1. Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and anxiety during the winter months.
2. Feeling fatigue, loss of energy, trouble concentrating and unmotivated.
3. The feelings of sadness, fatigue, isolated, etc. start out mild and become more severe as the winter progresses.
4. Change in appetite and sleeping habits.
5. Social withdrawal – loss of interest in social activities and hobbies.
Sources: Geneva Health