I look outside today and all I see is a blanket of white fluff covering everything in sight. But this is Calgary, what else could I expect? You see, in my eyes, we really only have two seasons: summer and winter. That’s because in the spring, it typically snows, and fall only lasts about 3 days.
It gets dark here for a while. We call it cozy, because that’s how we imagine ourselves – warm by a fireplace drinking hot tea while the flakes dance around outside.
The reality is much less alluring. We all still have jobs and responsibilities. So as much as we want to stay safe and comforted, we have to go about our business just as we would any other time of year.
Only it’s darker. And colder.
Whether you have any mental struggles or not, you can be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is defined as “depression associated with late autumn and winter and thought to be caused by a lack of light”.
Essentially, the lack of sunlight changes your emotional state. And if you live here in Alberta you would know it’s no joke. In my circle we call it “that time of the year” because we all start feeling down again.
If you’re feeling SAD, read below for some easy, natural options for helping reduce your symptoms.
- Get outside. Yes! Put on your snow pants, mittens and a hat. Make a snowman. Build a fort. Bring out the hot coco and go for a walk with a friend. Whatever will encourage you to get outside, do it. This will encourage you to absorb whatever sunlight you can and take advantage of natures amazing healing powers.
- Avoid the drive through. I know that this weather makes us all lethargic and tired, but do yourself a favor and show yourself some love by creating a beautiful meal made especially for you. Plus, crappy food could make a bad situation worse, as consumption of fast food has been linked to depression.
- Exercise. Anything that you can do to increase endorphins can brighten your spirit. Get moving by yourself, or if you need a little encouragement invite a friend.
- Eat yourself happy. This article gives specific food suggestions to help you increase calcium, chromium, folate, iron, magnesium, zinc, vitamin D, and omega 3’s – all of which have been proven to up your mood.
And if all else fails and you’re still feeling blue, I would encourage you to reach out and talk to someone – whether that’s your doctor, or a friend, or a family member.
Thanks for reading!