Fighting back against the seasonal blues

It’s dark. It’s cold. It’s rainy.

It is very normal at this time of year to find yourself feeling a little down in the dumps. 

Of course, there is a large spectrum between “feeling down” and “clinical depression.” But neither one is fun! With the seasonal change toward wintertime comes a natural down-turn in our emotional state. 

But you can fight back!

Here are five tips to fight back against the seasonal blues. 

  1. Schedule fun activities on a regular basis. You can still leave the house even when it’s dark outside! And there are plenty of fun activities indoors. 
  2. Identify unique wintertime things that you enjoy, and invest in them. Perhaps a cup of hot cocoa. Perhaps your favorite scarf or boots. Perhaps gathering the family under one big blanket to watch a Christmas movie together.
  3. Increase the amount of light in your home. There are even special lightbulbs that mimic natural sunlight. Keep the lights on bright to keep your mood up. 
  4. Watch what you’re eating during the holidays. Sure, indulge in some pumpkin pie and Aunt Sally’s special homemade fudge. But make sure you keep eating your vegetables and whole grains too. If we eat junk, we often start to feel it. 
  5. Stay active! If your normal exercise routine is interrupted by the sun going down way too early, try something new. Jumping jacks, push-ups, a 30-minute dance marathon – all can happen indoors, in your living room, at no cost. Activity keeps us feeling good. 

If you are concerned, though, that you may have a more serious problem than “seasonal blues,” it is possible that you are struggling with seasonal affective disorder. Read more about this diagnosis here. And reach out for help if it is needed, and iHope or elsewhere.

Written by Jessica Hayes
iHope Communications Director