Last spring, when the flowers started blooming and we, in the Northeast portion of the U.S, started to see Mr. Golden Sun a little more often, I realized just how bad my seasonal depression was. Like a switch had flipped, I suddenly had much more energy, was less lethargic/sluggish/depressed, and my general outlook on life had returned to positive as soon as winter was over. Not to be dramatic, but spring made me feel like I had reason to live again…
Since this winter, that pretty much just started, is supposed to be worse than last, I thought I’d try some ways to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder. Because, who wants to be S.A.D?! Not me!
Tips For Combating Seasonal Depression
- Sunshine– Even though it’s rare to see the sun from December-April in Pittsburgh, anytime it shines, I make it a point to go outside and stand in it. 15 minutes of sunlight will give you a sufficient amount of vitamin D. Even if the temperatures drop to single digits, bundle up, go outside, and let those sunny rays of delight do their thang.
- Vitamin D3 supplements– since the sun can be an elusive sonofabitch, I started taking these in November and they seriously make a huge difference. You can get vitamin D3 from food, but it’s so much easier to take a little supplement than it is to eat a can of sardines if ya ask me.
- Exercise– A BIG FAT DUH. There’s no way around the fact that you should be exercising. I was loving our routine of me running/walking in intervals + weight training while Joel rode his bike at the park by our house, but then stupid winter happened. We ponied up and got a gym membership because we can motivate each other to go.
- Cute Winter Clothes– when I moved to Pittsburgh, my aunt bought me a really nice wool peacoat and it was pretty much the only thing I had to keep myself warm. Fast forward 4 years, and I am now the proud owner of too many sweaters, a few faux fur coats, and an array of colorful leather jackets. These items of clothing are just enough to brighten the dullest day and remind me that I usually look forward to getting dressed in the morning.
- Make A Grateful List– it’s so freaking cold and you’re probably feeling cranky and annoyed about it, but try to remember all of the good things in your life! I am so grateful for the roof over my head, gas heating, and for all 3 of my almost identical gray faux fur blankets. I am feeling especially thankful for the cow that made my one authentic leather jacket. If he/she hadn’t sacrificed his/herself, I’d probably have pneumonia by now. Thank you, cow.
- Plan A Trip– I may have had a stomach bug and had to miss my twin sister’s wedding at the beginning of January, but we’re booked to go to Texas for my brother’s wedding at the end of this month. Little weekend trips to get away from snow and ice? I’ll take them! We’ve also been flirting with the idea of a springtime road trip, which gives us something to look forward to.
- Fresh Flowers- IDK what it is about having fresh flowers in our home, but it’s a small thing that makes me so happy. If you’re a monster and see fresh flowers as a waste of money, try potted plants instead.
I have to say, I have implemented these few things into everyday life and I feel SO MUCH BETTER than I did last year. It’s kind of crazy that tweaking my routine a little and making a ritual out of taking vitamins and working out has completely changed my life. I can feel myself (slowly, but surely) becoming the best version of myself and all it took was a quick seasonal ass kicking.
You may have won the battle last year, winter… But I’m gonna win the war. 46 days until the first day of Spring!