Most people experience a slump in January and February after the frenetic end-of-year and new year festivities. Some of this is merely fatigue but the Winter Blues can leave you feeling, sad, irritable, unmotivated. If these feelings intensify and lead to sleep problems, changes in appetite or weight, depression, you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
If your symptoms are in the milder category of Winter Blues there are several things you can do to help yourself feel better.
- Since the 1980's light therapy has offered an effective remedy to boost energy. There are even full-spectrum light visors so you don't have to remain in place to get your dose. You do need to follow guidelines about when during the day and how long the exposure. There's lots of information on-line to inform you how to use light therapy.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) can teach you coping skills for the short-term seasonal occurrences. Once you learn the skills you can use them daily throughout the year for your general well-being.
- Of course, exercise is an effective mood-enhancer.
- Meditation can promote relaxation and mindfulness and enhance cognitive skills. Future blog posts will present activities to promote mindfulness, stress reduction and relaxation techniques.
- If your symptoms persist for days and light, CBT, exercise and meditation are not effective it may be time to consult a physician or mental health counselor to discuss other interventions.