The holidays are now over, and these next cold months can bring on the winter blues.
The crisp autumn temperature begins to grow colder as our days are getting shorter. The winter season can trigger individuals to feel seasonal affective disorder (SAD) due to reduced sunlight and how the winter can disrupt our body’s internal clock, otherwise known as our circadian rhythm. This can lead to feeling fatigue, sadness, and having difficulty with concentrating.
Some people tend to dismiss this with:
” Oh, it’s just the weather,”
“It just gets dark so early,” or
“I just always start to get this way around the holidays and winter season but I’m sure it will pass,”
The fact is seasonal affective disorder is a reality for many individuals and becomes a legitimate problem that frequently goes unaddressed by those struggling from it. Although it is true that these emotions can occasionally subside as winter gives way to spring, many people are unaware of the possible coping strategies to overcome SAD and negative thinking.
One of the top activities on people’s lists when it’s cold outside is to curl up in a blanket and want to stay in bed all day.
Of course, it’s not feasible to hibernate for four to six months. You need to get things done, see people, travel, and live your life as best as possible.
What can you do, then, to prevent feeling seasonal depression and what are some approaches you can do to address it? Here are 4 ways to help:
Exercise is an important way of staying healthy and there are several options for all abilities and age groups. Research has proven that exercise can be effective in reducing the symptoms of depression and regular physical activity such as yoga and tai chi, can help improve your mood. Do your best to stay active and connected with those around you since exercise also has social benefits.
2. Light therapy or LED
LED (Light-emitting diode) therapy is most commonly used on the skin of the face and has many healing benefits. It utilizes wavelengths of light to induce the skin’s natural ability to heal itself. Because of the mind-body connection, what we do to the skin will affect the rest of the body.
In addition, sitting in front of a special light box that mimics natural outdoor light for a certain period of time each day can help regulate your body’s circadian rhythm and boost your mood.
3. Spend time outdoors
You can also go for a walk, sit near a window, and plan outdoor activities. One of the best times to do this is during the early morning as exposure to bright light shortly after waking up can help regulate people’s mood, especially those with SAD. Although it might be challenging to motivate yourself to go on walks during cold winters, a short walk, roll, or stroll is just as beneficial and a free activity!
4. Practice mindfulness
Simple breathing exercises are a way to incorporate mindful moments throughout the day. For example, take a deep inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, then slowly exhale for six counts. As you do this, focus on how your breath feels as it passes through your body. When your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the sensation of your breath. Repeat this for multiple cycles. This is a great technique to calm your mind and body –especially in times of stress – while also improving your concentration and feeling balanced.
If you’d like to learn effective coping strategies that will keep you focused and motivated to achieve positive thinking, Hypnosis in NYC. Want to start the year fresh with a balanced mind and body, come see us for LED therapy as an add-on to your Reiki sessions. And, to continue that peaceful calm, balanced state, learn how to meditate at Self Empowered Minds. Self Empowered Minds is here to help you strengthen your mind, empower the positive beliefs you have, and help rebuild new patterns in the brain to support healthier habits. Our services support you in the best way possible so you may fill your life to the brim with love, happiness, family, friends, health, wealth, gratitude, and joy.