Podcast #36: Coping With the Winter Blues
Winter may be coming to an end, but for those of us who reside in colder climates, it feels like that end is nowhere in sight. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real problem that affects about 5 percent of adults in the U.S., and it lasts for about 40 percent of the year, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
We don’t know about you, but we aren’t thrilled about the idea of resigning ourselves to sadness for almost half the year. And a spontaneous trip to Miami isn’t always financially feasible.
In this week’s podcast episode, Jess and Laura talk all about the winter blues. The winter blues are a more broad term which captures a wider group of the population than SAD does. Unlike SAD, which can permeate your ability to enjoy life much like major depression, the winter blues are more of a mood shift that can be attributed to the lack of sunlight, colder temperatures, and gloomy weather. According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the winter blues are “very common.” Talk about #relatable.
How to Turn Around a Bad Day
If SAD has got you feelin’… well, sad, we’ve got you covered. In this podcast episode, we go over several ways to turn around a bad day and get yourself out of a cold-inspired funk. Here are a few ways to bump up your serotonin and increase your mood:
- Do something you love as a form of self care.
- Say no to anything that doesn’t excite you.
- Get a good night’s sleep.
- Take a long, steamy shower.
- Spend some quality time with your pets. There’s nothing quite like fur therapy.
- Embrace the emotion–blast some sad music, cry your eyes out, and let yourself feel bad. It’s cathartic.
- Take a walk.
- Go outside! Sunlight boosts your serotonin.
- Work out. If Elle Woods taught us anything, it’s that exercise gives you endorphins.
- Consider finding a therapist as a more long-term solution.
- Plan something to look forward to, like a weekend trip or social outing with friends.
While these small solutions aren’t a fix for everything, they can help you feel a little less sad that it’s… still… cold outside. And dark. Ugh. Meanwhile, cross your fingers that spring is on its way, bringing all the glorious sunshine and flowers along with it.