I've noticed, mostly on facebook, but also in talking to people in real life, winter has been hard on all of us. I am certainly no exception. I took a personality/vocational assessment in high school, and the results suggested that I would be prone to depression. Looking back over certain periods in my life, I think I have struggled, but that struggle has always intensified in the winter.
I have discovered a few things that have helped me get through the dark days of winter. If winter has been especially hard for you, I hope some of these suggestions are able to help.
1. My light box. I honestly don't know how I was able to get through winter before. It has saved my emotional stability. I am not being overly dramatic.
2. Eating healthy. For whatever reason, studies have shown that people who struggle with seasonal depression crave starches. This is especially problematic for me, because I happen to love starches. I've found that the less starches I eat, the better I feel. I still love crunchy things, so I munch on nuts. Staples of my daily food include: grapefruits, roasted almonds, fage yogurt (whole milk only), and dark coffee with a splash of light cream. I then usually eat salads or leftovers for lunch and a full dinner. In perusing pinterest, some of the desserts that are being pinned just make me a little nauseous. I actually saw a "fruity pebbles" cupcake. I don't know about you, but I just can't eat like that anymore.
|I cannot get enough grapefruit!
3. Sunlight. While our winter has been brutal in terms of temperature and precipitation, it seems to have been rather sunny. If the sun is shining, I bundle up and head outside to walk for at least 30 minutes. It helps. Trust me.
|our street - the sunrises have been magnificent
4. Vitamin D supplements. I take 5,000 mg per day. Yes, I'm a self-diagnoser, why do you ask? You can go to your doctor and have your levels tested. I don't need to be tested, I know I'm deficient!
5. An orderly house. I should preface this by saying that I feel best when I'm surrounded by order. My mind will not function properly if I am surrounded by chaos and clutter. You might not even notice your surroundings, and that's great! In late January, I de-cluttered and re-organized everything (except Rob's garage and the attic). I pared down and tidied up. It helps me focus and keeps my mood bright.
6. Something to look forward to. Rob and I try to get away every year for a week by ourselves. He realizes that this is something that is a priority for our relationship and also for my mental health. We don't spend a lot of money or go anywhere lavish, but we try to get away to warmth and sunshine. This year we were able to spend a week away - three of those days we were able to spend together and in warmth and sunshine. Heaven.
|in Boca Grande, Florida
It will be spring eventually. Keep your head up!