Seasonal depression can be an easily misunderstood and underestimated experience. However, it can be a large obstacle and struggle for many. There many contributing factors when it comes to the winter months. Such as, the holidays, missing loved ones, family stress, depression, staying indoors for long periods of time, the cold weather, and lack of exposure to the sunshine (vitamin D). It is important to take care of yourself, especially during the winter months. Below are a few ideas to address this time and seasonal depression:
1. Embrace the outdoors. If weather is favorable, this can be a special opportunity to embrace the winter weather and snow by being mindful while being outside. This could include spending time playing in the snow with family, or even simply sitting outside with some hot chocolate.
2. Light therapy. This tool can compensate the lack of sun exposure and similar mood benefits as the sun.
3. Enjoy the indoors with hobbies, games, and spending time with loved ones. Having extra time indoors, can inspire new hobbies and learning new skills. It also gives the potential for intentional time with family and keeping each other cozy during the cold winter months.
4. Reach out to somebody. Taking the time to talk about your thoughts and emotions can give catharsis as well as a chance to connect with the people around you.
Most of all, it is important to check in with yourself and see what you need while facing this time of year.