Help for The Winter Blues

We’ re reaching that time of year where, even though the days are getting longer, winter just doesn’t seem to want to end, and the longer days of spring and summer seem ages away.   While this is felt by most people to some degree, some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. This is known as the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  While severe cases may require treatment by a physician, here are some tips that can help until spring arrives.

  • In addition to the obvious things like eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep, make sure you schedule activities that get you outside, no matter what the weather.  Even a few minutes of natural light a day can make a difference in how you feel.
  • Put more light into your life.  Having a lot of lights on in your house may not be a substitute for natural sunlight, but it can raise your spirits.  When it’s dark outside, a dark, gloomy house just contributes to a low mood.  Replace ordinary light bulbs with full-spectrum bulbs.  For severe cases, consider getting a lightbox.
  • Reframe your thoughts about winter.  Even if it’s not your favorite time of the year, find something to appreciate about the season.  If it wasn’t for fall and winter, we wouldn’t enjoy spring as much. 
  • Reiki has been proven to help with depression by putting the body, mind and spirit into a deep state of relaxation.  Even one treatment can provide immediate relief.

When all else fails, curl up with a good book, a cup of hot chocolate and your favorite pet, and enjoy the cold, dark days from a warm spot on your sofa!

7 Comments on Help for The Winter Blues

  1. Ingrid
    February 2, 2010 at 3:17 pm (11 years ago)

    I haven’t tried the light boxes – sounds like they make a difference for you, Layla and Crystal. I haven’t tried them, but the office I used to work in switched to full spectrum lighting, and it made a huge difference!

  2. Crystal Clear Proofing
    February 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm (11 years ago)

    Well the timing for this post is purrfect, as I sit here watching snow accumulate…and accumulate!

    I have my HAPPY LIGHT, as I cal it. It is a miracle! Wouldn’t be without it!!

  3. Layla Morgan Wilde
    February 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm (11 years ago)

    I like using an SAD light box. They really help.

  4. Ingrid
    February 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm (11 years ago)

    Susan, cocoa and cat therapy are always a good solution, no matter what ails you!

    Debbi, I’m glad you liked this post, and that you’re enjoying the pictures. I have fun picking them out.

  5. Debbi
    February 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm (11 years ago)

    By the way, I forgot to mention, you always have the best pictures on your posts. That, too, brightens my mood. Thanks!

  6. Debbi
    February 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm (11 years ago)

    Good advice Ingrid. Light makes a big difference in your mood. My blinds, curtains and front door are always open during the day to let the light in and to see, some, of what is going on in the world outside. Shoveling snow gets me outside, no matter what the weather is like, for sure.

  7. susan faye
    February 1, 2010 at 12:08 pm (11 years ago)

    Great advice, particularly for those like me in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve got my cocoa and my cat at the ready for emergency therapy!


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