Finding Ways to Cope with Winter Depression
By Brandi Swieter
Symptoms of depression often creep up on people during the winter months. The weather gets colder and people are staying indoors to themselves more often. The holidays add lots of stress to an already stressful life. It is just not a good time for those who suffer from depressive thoughts and feelings. There are ways to help cope with winter depression that can lessen symptoms and help you feel at least a little better more often than not.
Even if you have nowhere to go for the holidays or few friends to socialize with, you can help yourself feel better by helping others. Spending time volunteering will put you in contact with some new faces and allow you to interact with others. It can boost your mood and put you in better spirits overall. Soup kitchens and homeless shelters are a good start, though there may be other opportunities throughout the city. Planting flowers, picking up trash at parks, and helping to man a booth at a festival may all be possibilities.
Start a New Hobby
Finding things to focus your time and attention on can be a huge help. Starting up a new hobby is one option. It can be as simple as buying a journal to write in or as extensive as joining a gym and vowing to work out at least once a week. Knitting, playing solitaire, and baking are other ideas.
The cold can have a lot to do with why people feel more depressed in the winter. They're left feeling cold, lonely, and isolated. Those feelings tend not to be as strong when warmth sets in. Staying warm by bundling up, drinking a cup of hot chocolate, and staying active all helps.
Go for a Walk in the Daylight
Going for a walk during the day helps in two ways. First, exercise is beneficial for releasing endorphins and feeling good overall. It helps to kick those depressive thoughts. Daylight also enhances mood. The Vitamin D from the sun improves brain function. Walking during the day is one of the best things a person can do for their overall health, both mentally and physically.
When you're dealing with depression, everything can seem like a chore. Getting up and out of bed and finding ways to cope with what you're feeling is the best way to combat your feelings and get back to being more yourself. Staying in bed and to yourself will only add to your problems.
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