Wipe Those Winter Blues Away| Seasonal Affective Disorder

Do you have the winter blues? Is it because you look out the window and see snow? How many times have you woken up in the morning by the sound of a delay for your child's school and you don't know who is going to watch them when you have to be at work? Is it because it is dark at 5:15PM and you just feel depressed?

Many people have the winter blues. Wintertime is just not as exciting as summer, or even spring and fall. People are stuck inside more due to the temperatures and therefore there is a decrease in activities within communities. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real diagnosis, also known as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summer blues, or seasonal depression, which is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in specific seasons, such as winter or summer, however winter is most common.

What can you do to get rid of the Winter Blues, other than pick up and move to Florida?

1. Schedule time to exercise. Although it is not the same as swimming in the pool, or running outside on a beautiful 65 degree day, it is hard to be depressed after you have just sweated through a Zumba class, or ran five miles on the treadmill.

2. Make a plan for the weekend with a great family activity. Whether it is a pizza and game night, or a day at the roller-skating rink, doing something with the ones you love the most will make you happy.

3. Plan for the spring or summer. Make a calendar to show three activities you will do over Spring Break. Make a list of 100 free activities you want to do as a family this summer. Get everyone included and you are bound to have a lot of laughs.

4. Get adequate sleep. Keep to a scheduled routine with work and a social life balanced. If you note that you are sleeping too little or too much, make sure you fit that into your schedule so you feel refreshed.

5. Reach out for support. Your family and friends are there for you as well as licensed professionals. It is important that you have someone you can go to that you know and trust.

Remember, winter is only a season. This too will pass, and before you know it, Spring is here!

* Photo courtesy of AJ Designs.

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