Winter is coming, which, for many people means seasonal depression. The winter blues are common because of the nature of the season. It’s cold and the weather is unpredictable. This can lead to literal isolation and even more emotional isolation. The holidays create a ton of stress too.
Even guys who are relaxed and well-adjusted sometimes fall into seasonal depression. And, once the cycle starts, it can be hard to break until summer hits. However, in some regions of the world winter can last six months! That’s a long time to suffer with seasonal depression.
These tips should help you with a mild version of the winter blues. We are not doctors. If you feel depressed, then you should see a doctor. Depression is a serious mental illness that can be treated medically. However, for those who just have the winter blahs, you will enjoy these four tips.
Exercise is a proven mood booster. Yet, when do we typically exercise? Not when it’s ten degrees outside and snowing! It’s so much easier in winter just to sit on our butts snacking and watching television. But, that’s a big mistake for our mental health.
To avoid seasonal depression, find a way to exercise. Hop on a treadmill, go to the gym, and maybe even find a sport or activity that lets you…
The negative ions in the outdoor air can give us a mood boost. But, when we’re stuck inside on a winter day (or week or month), we don’t get the mental benefits that come from being outdoors. Resist the urge to stay indoors.
To get outside more often, you can try something as mundane as going for a walk to as adventurous as taking up cross country skiing. Whatever your choice, getting outside during the winter months is essential to keeping your mood elevated.
Stay Connected (In Real Life)
Winter can be very isolating. It’s typically darker and colder, not to mention that snow and ice can keep us inside for long periods of time. The summer barbecues and late evenings hanging with friends are a thing of the past. Don’t let them be.
While a winter barbecue may not be a great idea, don’t let the winter weather stop you from getting out of the house and hanging out with friends. Meet for coffee, go shopping, hit the clubs, etc. Do something with a friend or family member regularly. While social media and the telephone are great if you’re snowed in, once the weather clears, get out and hang in person.
Learn Something New
Starting a new activity or hobby is great for mental health. Learning something new keeps our brain sharp. In addition, having a goal or positive outcome gives us a more hopeful outlook since we have something to look forward to. This winter, learn a new skill, take up a hobby, try a new sport, or try something else you’ve always wanted to do.
While summer may be the ideal time to do this, we probably need the stimulation more in the winter, especially for those who suffer from seasonal depression. If you’ve always wanted to learn to play the banjo or you have any other unfulfilled goal, then let this winter be the time to achieve it.
I hope you found these tips helpful. Remember to seek help if you are seriously depressed. However, if you just have the mild winter blahs, then these tips should relieve some of that seasonal depression. Don’t wait for the blues to take hold. Start acting on these tips before the depression arrives!