Let's try to fight these bitter blues with some intentional steps toward finding light in the dark of winter, okay? I'm going to actively indulge myself with the following choices, and I invite you to do the same if you struggle from the winter blues.
For some, the winter season represents celebrations, family, food and fun. For those who suffer from Seasonal Assertive Disorder, this time of year epitomizes boredom, cabin fever, anxiety and depression.
Winter drags its massive lumbering heels on its way to meet Spring. Its hair has grown long, its thick woolly layers are tattered and dirty. Spring should be close, should be here, but it's impossible to see.
I used to say when it was snowing that the "the angels were brushing their hair." This year, the angels have really let their hair down, giving much of the country a cold shoulder. If hell actually froze ever over it may have been this winter.
However I've found being stuck indoors DOES have one advantage: It allows me to finally get working on all those creative ideas that have been rattling around in my head all year. I may grumble about being stuck inside, but I've found winter can be my most creatively productive time.
I work as a psychologist in a small Alaskan town where winters are long and many people, including myself, experience the winter blues. With my clients and in my own life, I use and recommend the following six strategies for increasing well-being year-round.
Ever since I was in my early 20s, you could set my mood-ometer to the fall weekend when we changed the clocks back. Losing an hour of daylight at the end of the day pushes me into the SAD zone -- I suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder.
But here comes that annual mercury drop which forces us to confront very different -- and much fewer -- activity choices. Makes us end up sharing a much smaller place in our world, and a much closer, more visible one, indoors, with our co-tenants. And what does that do?
Yes, this winter has been a really long one for you and for me. But for our kids, this will likely be the winter that settles right into that sacred spot of their hearts reserved for only the most special of times.
I don't live in Florida or Rjuka, and I have not the time or inclination to erect giant mirrors on Willis Tower. But I am going to proactive. I will be making do right here and staring into the light for hopefully a happy winter.