The holidays are over, the visitors (welcome or un-) have gone home, the presents are worse for wear, your diet is blown, the bills are coming in, and it’s dark and cold. Many people find this the most difficult, depressing time of year. How do you make it through to spring?
- Get as much sunlight as you can, and use bright artificial light to make daylight come earlier. There are “sunbox” lights with special fluorescent tubes that imitate the sun’s rays. New ones run about $60-$350. If that’s too expensive, try light bulbs that mimic sunlight– put some in your lamps at home and turn them on first thing in the morning. When it’s dark in the morning, your body manufactures more melatonin, which makes you sleepy.
- Consider taking Vitamin D supplements, because your body isn’t absorbing as much from sunlight.
- Get some exercise to raise the levels of serotonin in your body (I know, I know . . . but it really does help). Go ahead and have some warm comfort food, but don’t overdo it.
- Shake it up. Try something new: take a class, start a hobby, change your hair, wear brighter clothes, try a new restaurant or new recipes, or paint a wall in a bright color.
- Get out of the house – preferably with friends who make you laugh. Laughter really helps your mood. Go help someone else – that will make you feel good, too.
- Dress properly for the cold. You can’t function well if you’re freezing.
Winter has its own charms. Look for the perfect snowflake, and appreciate the beauty of frost patterns. Watch the winter birds. Enjoy the cozy feeling of being inside while it snows. Do some of the things that you won’t have time for when you’re busy outside. Finally, remember that spring will come, guaranteed!