3 Ways to Beat the SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Around Your House
This time of year is famous for making people feel blue. The anticipation and excitement (and stress) of the holidays is in the rear view mirror, and warmer spring weather is still months away for most parts of the country. Not everyone experiences the full-blown clinical Seasonal Affective Disorder, but most people report a sense of flatness and lack of inspiration or energy during these months.
Here are three suggestions I read recently:
1) Do something creative around the house. Maybe you’re not up for a whole redecoration project, but something simple like painting a room, organizing closets, or installing a bookcase in that space under the stairs can be surprisingly energizing. I heard about someone who turned a corner of one room into an art studio and started painting again-and it made her feel engaged and alive immediately.
2) Plan your outdoor projects and adventures. The human brain is such that it feels good about imagining future activities. What sorts of things would you like to do in your yard when spring arrives? Where do you want to go this year? The suggestion here is to turn on your favorite music, sit in a well-lighted spot, and start making plans on paper. Research on the computer, make lists, sketch, and figure out budgets. Your brain will really like this because the mental process of imagination and planning releases the “happy chemicals” of dopamine and serotonin.
3) Relax. Our modern world is much different than primitive times when winter meant early darkness and extra sleep. Artificial light and technology make it easy to run full-tilt all year long. What hasn’t changed is that our bodies actually need this time of slower pace and more sleep to recover and store up energy for the spring and summer months. Rather than being anxious about feeling lower energy at this time of year, it’s helpful to realize that we are charging our depleted batteries.
These are just a few ideas that I found useful. Have any other ways to beat the winter blues? Drop me an email anytime! I’d love to hear from you.