Winter is creeping up on many of us around the globe, meaning shorter days and longer nights. It is estimated that between 30-50% of people suffer from the ‘winter blues’, also referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder. During this time, individuals affected, may experience some sort of depression. When a person is faced with a long winter, states of depression, and boredom, they may turn to alcohol or drugs.
Winter is creeping up on many of us around the globe, meaning shorter days and longer nights. It is estimated that between 30-50% of people suffer from the ‘winter blues', also referred to asSeasonal Affective Disorder. During this time, individuals affected, may experience some sort of depression. When a person is faced with a long winter, states of depression, and boredom, they may turn to alcohol or drugs. Those in recovery may risk relapsing if they are suffering from the winter blues. On the other hand, a person who has not yet experienced addiction could very well develop one if they use drugs or alcohol as a way of coping with the winter blues. In any case, drinking and using will not solve any problems, but will make the winter blues far worse than better. It is important to understand that there are healthier simple ways to beat these unwanted blues.
Bring Some Summer Into Your Home
Even though summer has passed, there are various ways to bring summer into a home. Go to a nursery and pick out some fresh cut flowers or even potted plants to lively up the house. Brighten up rooms by adding more white; perhaps change the pillowcases or tablecloths to a bright white or pale blue. Pull back the curtains, open up the windows, if it's not too cold, and allow those warm rays of sunshine to stream through. Now that flowers have been added, pillows are white, and the sun is shining through, finish by adding the scent of citrus by cutting up some lemons, limes, or oranges in the kitchen, bathroom, or anywhere for that matter!
Winter may seem as though it will never end, so beat the winter blues by doing something special. After all, looking forward to something can help anyone stay motivated. Think about something that can turn a frown upside down. Perhaps it's a day at the spa, a weekend vacation, or a special event. In fact, by planning something exciting, a person's mood can completely reverse. It allows for anticipation and excitement up until the very day; afterwards it can provide happiness and relaxation for weeks or even months.
Get Outdoors and Exercise
Anyone who is in recovery from an addiction will be familiar with the outdoors and exercising. Exercising is not only great for staying fit and healthy, but it can be a great way to beat the winter blues. Many people associate exercising with treadmills and weight benches, the great news is that there are numerous ways to exercise; many of which can be done outside during the winter. Take a walk, rake up the remaining leaves from fall, shovel the snow, or build a snowman. Another option is to get involved in a winter sport such as ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding. Getting outdoors and exercising can help to energize the body for the entire day, improve the body's metabolism, allow the brain to release mood enhancing chemicals, and overall, allow those pesky winter blues to dissipate.
Eating a healthy diet will go a long way and keep the body physically, emotionally, and mentally satisfied. Oftentimes, those suffering from the winter blues turn to ‘comfort foods', which are high in sugar, starch, fat, and white flour. These provide a quick high and then a crash which can cause a person to feel even worse, thus falling deeper into depression. Try eating fresh fruits and vegetables. If these are not abundantly available at the local grocery store, look into growing some easy produce in house pots. Ingest whole grains, healthy fats, and good proteins. Additionally, Omega-3 fatty acids, D vitamins, and B complex vitamins can dramatically improve the winter blues.
Finally, those suffering from the winter blues must learn to accept the situation. Try doing so by embracing the winter season and what it has to offer. Sure it is cold and there is less sun, but winter can be incredibly beautiful. Take a look at the picturesque trees, the glittering snow with the sun's rays beating off of it, the red berries that are still somehow alive on certain bushes. All of these subtle effects that take place during the winter are very special and only last for a few months per year. By seeing winter in a positive light and noticing everything it has to offer, it can help keep a person's spirits high and can help beat the winter blues.