I’ve been on assignment all week…
As days get shorter and the temperature drops, it’s not uncommon for the winter blues to set in. All you want to do is stay in, curl into a ball, and eat. These tips, however, will help brighten things up!
- Have your bedroom lights turn on a half hour before you’re supposed to wake up. One of the symptoms of winter blues is increased difficulty getting up in the morning, even if you’ve had plenty of sleep. Plugging a bright, fluorescent lamp into a timer and having it turn on before your alarm goes off will help simulate an artificial dawn.
- You can also probably benefit from the suggestions in How to Stop Hitting the Snooze Button.
- Expose yourself to sunlight as early in the morning as you can. You want to maximize the number of hours you experience daylight. Wake up early, and lift the curtains or go outside as soon as you get out of bed.
- Use artificial light. Many people invest in a light box, which simulates the sun’s natural rays, emitting 2,500 to 10,000 lux (a normal light fixture emits 250 to 500 lux). They work by reducing the release of melatonin in the brain. For best results, use a light box daily, in the early morning, and for 30 minutes to two hours at a time. Many people see improvement in about 2 weeks.
- You can use the light box to effectively lengthen the day: use it before daylight, after the sun sets, or a combination of the two. Increasing the daylength by two hours should be effective.
- Light therapy boxes aren’t regulated, so if you pick one out without the recommendation of a doctor, look for ones that have been tested in peer-reviewed clinical trials and have smooth diffusing screens that filter out UV rays.
- Unfortunately, light boxes aren’t cheap. In some cases, they are covered by health insurance.
- Alternatively, you can get full-spectrum light bulbs at a hardware store. Just make sure they emit a minimum of 2,500 lux.
- In a pinch, using a tanning bed for 5 minutes also helps. See How to Use a Tanning Bed.
- Exercise. Did you know that one hour of aerobic exercise outside (even when it’s cloudy) has the same therapeutic effects as 2.5 hours of light treatment indoors? This is because it raises serotonin levels, which tend to get low when you have the winter blues.
- Watch your cravings! When your serotonin levels are low, one of things your body tends to do is to crave food high in carbohydrates, especially high-sugar foods like junk food and soda, because they raise serotonin levels. Check out How to Stop Sweet Cravings.
- Take a multivitamin containing vitamin D-3 daily. Vitamin D is created by the sun’s rays on the skin, and therefore declines during the winter. Although studies on the effect of vitamin D supplements on seasonal depression have come up with varied results a good multivitamin will also help with energy levels.
- Take up a winter activity. Taking up an activity that can only be done in the winter is a good way to look forward to winter, rather than hating it. Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, winter hiking & cycling, ice skating, sledding, tubing, winter photography, playing/listening to music, winter nature observation, or astronomy, all are good ways to enjoy winter. Embrace winter, and it cannot be your enemy!
- Dress for the cold. Many people say they hate winter simply because they’re cold all the time. If this applies to you, then re-examine your wardrobe and make sure you’re appropriately dressed. Make sure your hands, feet and head are kept warm. Long underwear can also work warming wonders.
- Cozy up your home. Paint your walls with warm, vibrant colors. Change a sterile, white kitchen into a sunny, yellow retreat or transform a drab, beige living room into an inviting, verdant haven. Hang colorful artwork and toss around whimsical pillows. A few little touches can really help you cope with the winter blahs.
- Symptoms related to seasonal affective disorder (SAD or Winter Blues) tend to peak in January and February. Starting preventative measure early can help avoid symptoms all together.
- Use of chromotherapy by painting rooms in colors such as yellow and sky-blue may be useful to simulate the sunnier seasons and assist in relieving symptoms of SAD. This is unproven but likely would not hurt to try.
- If you have severe depression, whether it’s related to the season or not, consult a mental-health expert. Some sufferers of SAD will benefit from prescription medication.
- How to Overcome the Sunday Night Blues
- How to Bring More Outside Light Into a House
- How to Stop Sweet Cravings
- How to Be Optimistic
Sources and Citations
- ↑ http://psychcentral.com/library/seasonal_affective.htm
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 http://www.gannett.cornell.edu/healthAtoZ/healthAdvice/winterBlues.html
- ↑ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16933166/
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wirestory?id=6907087&page=2
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromotherapy
Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Fight Winter Blues. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.
Saturday 9: What a Fool Believes
1. What celebrity do you think is the MOST foolish?
Hello- Charlie Sheen.
2. What are 5 things you don’t care about?
Charlie Sheen, Charlie Sheen’s TV Show, Charlie Sheen’s latest addiction, Charlie Sheen’s latest escapade, Charlie Sheen going into rehab.
3. What ‘issue’ do you think your opinion is so right about that you end up trying to sway others to your point of view?
Could be certain celebs going back into rehab.
4. What personality do you like to listen to on the radio?
I really don’t.
5. What culture are you fascinated by?
Rich people who own their islands and have other people who clean up after them.
6. You are alone with your lover’s diary. What do you do?
Freak that I have a lover.
7. What frustrates you?
Hotel rooms with crappy TV channel selection. I’d settle for Snookie at this point.
8. Do you remember the first time you were on the internet? What did you do first?
In the 70’s when my BIL took me to a computer lab where he was studying to get his Ph.D.
The internet had been discovered there. Pretty cool. Especially since I’m only 29.
9. What was the biggest fight you have ever had with someone?
Every night I fight for bed space with my 85lb mutt.