6 Things You Can Do Every Day To Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder
Every year, it's the same shit: pleasant spring, perfect summer, colorful fall and then pure hell.
As someone who thrives in the sun and is heavily addicted to the sweet Vitamin D, I fall into a winter blues as soon as the calendar marks December.
This year, however, I decided to not let myself go off the deep end and crush as much Ben & Jerry's as last winter.
So, I took these six steps to help me control my seasonal affective disorder:
1. A good diet
Eating well is essential for feeling good.
In winter, I focus heavily on foods that contain Vitamin D, like eggs, orange juice, salmon and cheese. Also, this is an excuse to eat ungodly amounts of cheese with a solid justification.
Food can bring comfort, as we all know, so I try to cook most of my meals at home. After this winter is over, I'll not only be feeling better, but I'll also be a bonafide chef.
2. Switching up looks
This one is crucial for me. There's nothing more depressing than seeing my summer blonde hair turn dull against my pale winter face.
As seasons change, we have to adapt. And it's kind of fun, actually.
I browse through the newest trends and choose something I like, and then I bravely march my ass to the salon.
Trying out short haircuts has been a nice change, since no one likes tangled locks in the layers of protective gear we have to wear to deal with the cold.
Refresh yourself and feel better every time you look in the mirror.
3. Planning weekend trips
That's right. I'm embracing the weather, bad as it may be.
Instead of cursing the Northeast, I decided to go along with the piles of snow and start skiing on weekends instead of staying home and stuffing my face with pasta.
Some weekends I just sit at the lodge and drink whiskey, which also gets the job done.
Getting out of the house gives you a chance to see the beauty of winter. The season isn't only defined by wrestling your way on the subway in the morning or stomping through puddles of melted snow to get to the office.
Turn winter into a wonderland, and you'll feel better.
4. Listening to podcasts
It's easy to wallow in bed and surrender to the winter blues.
While I will not give up my comforting bed under any circumstances, I found a way to be more productive in it. Instead of browsing the web for cute handbags (which also brings me joy, but my bank account isn't so happy), I started listening to podcasts.
I'm a huge fan of Tim Ferriss, who wrote "The 4-Hour Work Week," so I listen to him interview successful entrepreneurs.
There's lots to learn, and all I have to do is relax and dive into it. Couple that with a glass of wine, and you're in for a chill and productive evening.
There are also some great guided meditation podcasts by Tara Brach, which help deal with emotion and stress, so give it a go.
I'm going to be honest here: I initially joined the Nike running group in Boston because of the hot guys, but soon, I discovered the real benefit.
Running is hands down the best exercise to kick your ass into shape for spring break, but most of all, it's an incredibly effective way of producing serotonin and feeling great all day.
I'm talking Selena Gomez and The Weeknd in Italy type of great.
Just try it. You don't have to be fast; just a simple jog will get the job done.
6. Keeping a daily journal
Trekking through a blizzard, office, trekking home through another blizzard.
If your day looks as shitty as mine, it's no wonder you're in a serious bad mood.
It's very easy to fall into an emotion and follow it blindly. What helps me tremendously with that is to write down how I feel every morning and every night and to evaluate why.
For example, if I wake up in a warm, cozy bed, I write down how blissful that feels and remind myself throughout the day that my loyal bed will be there for me in the end. I do the same in the evening.
Then, I realize nature can't be controlled, and I just have to find it in myself to accept the weather as it comes and push through.
The most important step in dealing with any emotion is recognizing what it is and why we feel it.
Then, we can come up with an effective game plan.