Now that Seattle is rocking fourteen hours of darkness each day, I’m finding it hard not to eat my body weight in pasta, find the nearest cave and hibernate until white shoes are sartorially acceptable again. Seasonal Depression isn’t a good time, and I suspect that it affects (in some form) most of us north of the 42nd latitude.
A recipe for coping!
Researchers recently found that regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. Amazing, right?! When you’re feeling down it can be a bit hard to muster the energy to even go to the gym, but it’s a lot more fun if you have a wicked play list on your Ipod, a cute workout ensemble and fun ways to work out like Zumba or water aerobics.
Yes, it’s cold. Yes, that is the feeling of your nose hairs freezing together. But with heaps of winter activities to choose from, surely there’s something that floats your boat. Anyone that knows me also knows that I’m not the first girl out on the slopes each season, but I‘m pretty good at tubing and snow-angel-making. Even just bundling up and walking to your favorite coffee shop for a hot cocoa qualifies!
Feather your nest
You’ll inevitably find yourself at home a lot more during the winter months which isn’t particularly pleasant if your space resembles the cave you wish you could crawl into. Paint the walls, hang up those vacation photos and add more pillows to the couch for optimal cuddling. Being snowed in is no longer unappealing.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but I found that actually getting up earlier makes my winter days a lot more tolerable. My nights are shot because it’s dark by 4:00 pm, but it’s lovely to get up at 6:00 and make waffles, listen to the news and watch the sun rise. It’s like a long Sunday morning every morning.
There’s no doubt that a bottle of wine and your latest Netflix dvd are a pretty appealing way to spend a cold winter night. But do that every night and you’re going a bit Boo Radley on us. It’s really important to keep up your social life, even in the dead of winter. Have friends over for board games, potlucks or cookie-making. Or brave the cold for a comedy night or rush tickets at your local theater.
Embrace the holidays
Be the one who brings Christmas cookies to the office, hang mistletoe in every door and twinkle-light the sweet bejesus out of your apartment. I love going for walks at night and seeing all the colored lights through windows, the interiors of the apartments all joyfully, rainbowly glowing. The holiday season is unquestionably over the top, but it’s a lot more fun to join in the excess than sulk in the corner.
Sunrise simulator/full spectrum lights
Please allow me to sing the praises of this sunrise simulator. Seriously, $90 to wake up slowly and leisurely to a romantically lit room? Yes, please. If you’re really having a hard go of it, full spectrum lights have been proven to reduce the results of Seasonal Depression as well.
Vitamin D/St. John’s Wart
Vitamin D deficiencies are often linked to Seasonal Depression, and supplements are widely available. St. John’s Wart is helpful in treating mild depression, but it can reduce the effectiveness of your birth control so proceed with caution.
How do you beat the winter mopes?