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4 Strategies to Avoid Seasonal Depression During the Winter Months. Living Simply Blog by Ali Michelle is a personal growth  and mental health blog providing strategies to strengthen your resilience, self-worth, and positivity for more balanced mental health.When the weather is cold and the skies are dark and cloudy, it’s natural to feel a bit more down and despondent than in the warmer, sunnier months. If you struggle with gloomy feelings during the winter, there are options available to you without a prescription depression drug to combat these feelings.

And if you notice your depression and low mood are only during the winter months, this may be what’s known as seasonal depression. It’s colder, darker, and it can be a real struggle—especially during the holidays—for some.

Please remember, it’s always important to check with your physician before making any changes to your health regimen.

Sometimes . . . winter sucks

Some of us start feeling down as soon as the first cold, cloudy day rolls in. But we can prevent it! To stay happy and peaceful during the winter, focus your time and energy on things that bring you joy.

See the beauty that the winter months have to offer; that first beautiful snow before it’s walked and driven on, or the green evergreens dispersed between the other leafless varieties. If you’re really struggling to see any beauty at all in the gloom of winter, here are just a few simple ideas to jump-start your thinking in a more positive direction.

Consider these tips to help you gain a more positive mindset during winter:

  • Buy a sun lamp. A sun lamp gives you the light you need even when it’s gloomy outside and works much better to help your mood than just turning on all the lights in your house. There are several listed on Amazon at a range of prices and features. I’ve listed just a couple of the higher-rated options below:
  • Take a vacation. Travel to somewhere sunny and warmer each winter, even if only for a couple of days. Looking forward to your annual getaway will lift your spirits during the time before you go, too. And if funding is an issue, consider perhaps just driving south a few hours, to a warmer location.
  • Get outside. When the sun does come out, even if it’s cold, take advantage of it. When your body is deprived of sunlight, it has a harder time making vitamin D. If you can get some sun, though, you’ll feel better and you’ll be more able to make it through until spring arrives with its longer, sunnier days. A deficiency in vitamin D has been proven to contribute to both mental and physical health concerns.
  • Find activities that bring you joy. Read that book you’ve always wanted to read, or bing-watch a new series on Netflix. Perhaps learning an outdoor activity, such as skiing or snowboarding is something you’ve been wanting to try. These can bring you the mental and physical benefits of exercising, while also enjoying the winter weather.

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Depression is Treatable – Even if it’s Only Occasional

It’s so very important to treat depression. If your feelings of depression run deep, you may want to talk to your doctor about the kinds of treatment options that might be best for you. If you’re only feeling bummed and unhappy during the winter months, though, focusing on strategies that work during the winter is a great way to start shakinge those winter blues.

You can choose to be joyful. No, it’s not the magical unicorn answer to everything, but focusing on the things that matter most to you and make you happy, can help you reframe your thoughts. Winter is only a season, and you’ll have spring, summer, and fall to do all kinds of great things outside in the sunshine. Start planning!

Remember, anything you can do when it’s dark outside, you can also do on one of those gloomy winter days.

If you have hobbies that lend themselves to indoor activity, you’ll have more to keep your mind occupied as you move through the winter. The cold days will pass more quickly if you have something to occupy your time, and spring will arrive before you know it.

Now, head down there and leave a comment and tell us how you beat the winter blues!

Sending you warm fuzzies,

Living Simply Blog by Ali Michelle | A personal development and mental health blog providing strategies to strengthen your resilience, self-worth, and positivity for more balanced mental health.SaveSave