Dear cold weather, I think we need to see other seasons

I got a frozen cocktail in my right hand & a bowl of piping hot soup in my left.

Hello Fan Friends,

I’m not sure about you, but once that weather starts to turn cold I love nothing more than to curl up with a cozy blanket and a hot bowl of soup. Did I mention I still love a nice cold cocktail in January? Well, I do. Oxymoronic? Maybe. Totally me? Definitely!

I was going to write up a makeup review but what I really want to discuss is ‘Winter Blues’ because they’re a very real thing and also more common than you think. I didn’t realize there were others like me, those who experience a mood shift during the colder, darker days of winter. Lately, many, like me, feel more lethargic and overall sad. While feeling more gloomy than usual, the winter blues typically don’t hinder your ability to enjoy life.

I want to raise awareness to SAD, which happens when winter blues start affecting all parts of your life — from work to relationships. See, this SAD isn’t the feeling like we learn about in preschool. This SAD is a recurrent type of depression associated with the change in seasons. It typically starts in the fall and persists through the winter months.

Through research I learned that SAD happens as a result of lower levels of natural sunlight common in fall and winter. It can affect how happy you feel, mess with your internal clock and affect your sleeping patterns. SAD affects both mood and sleep.

The most common symptoms of the winter blues are general sadness and a lack of energy. Other symptoms of the winter blues include the following:

1) You find difficulty sleeping

2) Feeling less social than usual

3) Difficulty taking initiative

The hallmarks of SAD are sleeping too much and overeating. Other common SAD symptoms include the following:

• Your mood that is down or depressed most of the day, nearly every day

• You’ve lost of interest in activities you typically enjoy.

• You’ve been withdrawing and isolating yourself from friends and family.

• You’re struggling to focus and perform at work or home

• You feel constantly fatigued and lethargic.

• You feel hopeless about the future.

• You’re having suicidal thoughts.

Now for me, winter blues began around High School, around the time I got my first Part Time job. I found it hard to fall asleep at night and focus during the day. My mind felt like one of those proverbial hamsters on a wheel. The days that I did have off, I wanted to sleep and not socialize much with friends.

While I’ve never been diagnosed with SAD, and suicidal thoughts and hopelessness for the future weren’t ever a thing with me, the struggle to be motivated-even to write this piece-is very real. The constant feeling of tiredness and lethargic-ness is common. I do feel less socially inclined to make and even resent still keep a plan and I have no drive.

Combating winter blue is something I’ve learned through the years, the biggest way I’ve learned to cope is transforming my mind through my actions. Here are a few ways I’ve helped myself deal with the winter sadness:

  • Be Active in the Wintertime Outdoors-I began this with trepidation during the blizzard of 2018. Much like I did as a child I started walking and hell even playing in any snow we’d get, I began having fun with the icicles that would form on our car, and building snowmen. Once I tried to channel my inner child and stopped resisting the cold temperature, the better I tolerated it.
  • Wear Bright Colors– Okay, so I have no research to actually back up this theory, but I’m quite convinced there is a link between feeling optimistic and sporting bright colors. It’s in line with the “fake it ’til you make it” desperate attempts to trick your brain into thinking that it’s sunny and beautiful outside — time to celebrate spring! — even though there’s a sheet of ice and sleet causing some major traffic jams. Personally, I tend to wear black every day in the winter. It’s supposed such an amazing versatile color but yet the result is that I appear as if — and feel like — I’m going to a funeral every afternoon between the months of November and March. So I make a conscious effort to wear Panther blue, purple, red, and cream colored clothing to lift my spirits considerably.
  • Ditch The Junk Food- Instead of reaching for a bowl of ice cream, reach for a bowl of fruit. While this may seem kind of silly, sugar can sometimes worsen episodes of depression or anxiety. With sugar, you get an immediate high but once you crash you are more prone to depressive traits-not to mention sugar is a sure way to pack on unnecessary pounds.
  • Write Down Your Thoughts-Writing down your thoughts can have a positive effect on your mood. As someone who has struggled with anxiety for my entire life I found that getting my negative thoughts out onto paper helps move me forward and rid my mind of any toxic energy. I usually sit down with a plan to write for about 20 minutes on most days of the week, sometimes I sketch too. I include my thoughts, feelings, and concerns. The best time is at night so that I can reflect on all that happened in the last 24 hours.

If all else fails do not feel too afraid to go speak to a doctor about how you are feeling. Nobody has to live their life in a constant depressive state, speaking to somebody can help you in gaining insight to patterns with what is going on. 

Do you feel like you have winter blues? Leave a comment below. Let’s talk!

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