Does the early darkness and dreary cold gloom of winter dampen your spirits? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone!
Many people suffer with lower levels of excitement and happiness during the chillier months for a variety of reasons. For some, they may even develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which impacts their emotions based on various seasons and varying levels of sunlight. SAD is said to impact over 10 million Americans annually, and is found to be more common in young adults.
It may seem difficult to power through these moods and struggles you may be having right now, so here are some tips and ideas to help you be proactive about your feelings:
1. Get Moving!
Whether it be a walk, run, yoga or weight lifting, find an exercise routine that will provide you with hits of chemical compounds in your body called endorphins. Endorphins can act as an anxiety reducer. Exercise has also been proven to reduce your risk of contracting certain diseases and can improve your self-esteem.
2. Balance Out That Workout With A Treat.
Did you know that eating certain foods such as bread and chocolate releases chemicals called serotonin and dopamine in the brain? These chemicals are responsible for emotions such as happiness and pleasure. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates are ideal. Enjoy that croissant, girl.
3. Jam Out.
Research shows that listening to upbeat music can boost your mood, temporarily reduce stress and provide you with feelings of joy. This is the perfect excuse to make a super fun playlist.
4. Take Those Supplements.
Due to the lack of sunlight, your body can become deficient in essential vitamins such as Vitamin D. This can leave you more tired than usual. In order to balance out the decrease, find a daily vitamin that works for you.
5. Try Something New.
Sometimes we become so comfortable that we find ourselves in a boring routine. For the sake of your sanity, explore the edges of your comfort zone. Try a new hobby, go on a road trip, maybe even change something about your appearance...
6. Surround Yourself With Good Energy.
It really is important to surround yourself with uplifting friends and family during difficult times. These people can help you by giving you fun experiences and filling your head with positive thoughts.
7. Practice Deliberate Positive Affirmation.
Even though it might sound cliché, complimenting yourself in the mirror or writing down something you love about who you are every day can bring you a whole new level of self-appreciation. Some people like to fill jars or boxes with their favorite words of encouragement.
8. ‘Me’ Time is Encouraged.
Amidst your busy schedule, finding time to spoil yourself a little can combat the blues. A massage, a nap or a good book would do.
9. Get Involved.
As much as you would like to isolate yourself, that just isn’t the best solution to your problems. Join a club or volunteer. You never know what passion you can find at UMD.
10. Look Forward.
With your perseverance and the help of various other factors, you will emerge from your problems stronger than ever. Better days are on their way. A.K.A. Springtime Baby!