Turn the Winter Blues into Winter Booms!
Years ago, the “winter blues” may have been something close to an urban legend—something that was commonly talked about, but not investigated enough. Now, quite a number of recent research findings have attested that the winter blues does exist, and some concerned groups and organizations are making an effort to do campaigns to bring more awareness on the subject matter.
So, what exactly is the winter blues and why should they worry you? As the name suggests, the winter blues is most common in the winter. In the branch of psychology, one who has the winter blues has seasonal effective disorder or SAD. According to a GlobeandMail.com article, SAD affects one in every five Canadians.
Most experts agree that the winter blues has one common cause; the lack of sunlight at wintertime. Of course, there is a big difference between just having the doldrums and having SAD, and talking with a professional can help narrow this gray area. People who have a tendency to suffer from SAD can benefit from the following strategies below:
Spend quality time with friends and family.
Unless you are planning to follow the example of bears and hibernate for the rest of the winter season, spend as much good time with the people close to you as you can. It can be something as simple as meeting up for coffee before your classes or ordering pizza for dinner.
Take advantage of the sunlight whenever you can.
Shorter days and longer nights are part of every winter. What you can do to make up for that is to get as much sunlight as you can. This means making changes to your routine. For instance, if you normally head out to take a run or jog after your classes, why not do it before your classes instead? If you usually meet your friends after classes, why not meet up for brunch instead?
A nice cup of hot chocolate topped with marshmallows is always believed to be an effective way to combat the blues. However, go easy on filling your body with too much sugar. Be sure to make fruits and vegetables a part of your daily diet.
Include bright colours in your winter attire.
You may rely on fashion magazines to know what’s hot and what’s not when you go winter wear-shopping, but don’t let those things dictate what you wear 100 percent. Sure, you wouldn’t want to look like someone from the 1950s era, but it’s nice to add some bright hues in your winter attire even though the fashion bigwigs don’t approve. According to scientists, wearing bright colours can lift your spirits. If you don’t want to go overboard, include a pop of colour in your outfit—like a rainbow-hued scarf or head gear.
Indulge in the things that make you happy.
When it comes to conquering the winter blues, sometimes we have to consciously step away from the things that make us sad. For example, if you know watching a particular movie or TV program or listening to a certain type of music or artist will make you gloomy, why indulge in those things in the first place? Instead, focus on those things that make you smile. And don’t worry if other people think it’s not cool or it’s corny. Remember, that is why the term “guilty pleasure” was invented.
The above are just suggestions to beat the winter blues. However, if none of them work for you, it would be a good idea to seek professional counseling.
Kirchheimer, Sid. “Beating Winter’s Woes.” WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/beating-winters-woes?page=3
NHS. “Get help with low mood, sadness, and depression.” http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/winter-blues-sad.aspx
Pearlman, Jennifer. “Sick of the cold? 5 ways to beat the winter blues.” The Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health-advisor/sick-of-the-cold-5-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blues/article23178249/
Standish, Jules. “Colours to boost your mood! Don’t be scared to clash – scientists have found brighter clothes make you happier!” Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2864623/Colours-boost-mood-Dont-scared-clash-scientists-brighter-clothes-make-happier.html