5 Tips for Beating Winter Depression
By Brandi Swieter
Winter depression tends to set in during the holiday season and can stay a while. This seasonal disorder arrives so easily for some because the season is incredibly stressful and also dreary. For some, managing the holidays when they've lost a loved one is the trigger. For others, the simple stresses of money, finding the right gifts, having enough time to accomplish tasks, and other daily thoughts are what allows the depression to set in. Beating winter depression, or at least battling the symptoms so they're not at the forefront, is possible with a few tips.
Play Upbeat Music
Music is a great way to soothe the soul. Never listen to anything sad when you're in a depressed state. The key is to play upbeat and fun music that has the power to lift the spirits. Songs like 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams and 'Walking on Sunshine' by Katrina and the Waves should be on the playlist.
Find the Humor in Everything
Laughter is said to be the best medicine because it can relax the mind and body and boost mood quickly. Always try to find the humor in everything and learn to laugh at yourself. Watching a comedy movie, or even better, a comedy special, is a great option. Plenty of choices exist on Netflix and other streaming services, such as Ali Wong's "Hard Knock Wife" or Adam Sandler's "100% Fresh." Seth Rogen, Joe Rogan, Dave Chappelle, Kevin James, Ron White, and more offer their skits for the entertainment of anyone who wants to watch.
Exercising regularly can be a tremendous help in reducing symptoms of depression. Your mood can change quickly when working out as endorphins get released. This feel-good chemical encourages a boost in brain health and works to inhibit negative feelings.
Spend Each Night Journaling
Keeping a journal can help to gather thoughts and express negative emotions without letting them get the best of you. Start a habit of journaling each night so that the bad of the day can be taken off your mind before heading to sleep. It's also wise to try and focus on most of the positive that occurred throughout the day instead of only the negative. If someone said a kind word, write that down. If you felt happy during a particular moment, write that down as well. Starting to focus more on the good things that happened can improve mood and make you feel better overall.
Socialize With Others
Sticking to yourself may be what you're comfortable with, but it can be very lonely. This is the best time for depressive thoughts and feelings to kick in. It's important to continue to socialize with others, even if it's just talking on the phone with a friend or family member. Visiting with others as often as possible is also beneficial. If you don't have someone to reach out to, join a support group or volunteer. This allows you to socialize and meet new people who could be going through similar things as you or see how good your life truly is compared to some others who are less fortunate.
Consider these tips throughout the winter season if you're struggling with depression. Facing it head on and trying to reduce symptoms is far better for overall mental health and well-being than not facing it and laying in bed all day alone.
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