fbpx

Beat the Winter Blues: How I Combat Seasonal Depression Naturally

Every year without fail, from the second November hits until the day April shows up, I am hit with a gray cloud of seasonal depression.

Here’s what seasonal depression is like.

Beat the Winter Blues: How I Combat Seasonal Depression NaturallyFrom April through October I am an optimistic realist with an abundance of gratitude and happiness that flows very naturally and easily. I have the energy to get myself to the gym, through a productive workday, spending quality time with my family, and other activities that come up. Those months of the year I absolutely love being around people and staying active. For 7 months of the year, I feel like myself.

Between November and March when the weather is cold, the sky is gray, and nighttime lasts for 12+ hours, a flip switches in my brain. I become lethargic, negative, have a hard time finding the silver lining, my motivation to do pretty much anything decreases, and all I want to do is lay around under a blanket in a dark room by myself.

Before I knew that seasonal depression was a thing, I was very concerned with how vastly my emotions and attitude differed during the different times of the year.

Was something seriously wrong with me? It wasn’t until I dealt with postpartum depression after having my daughter 3 years ago that I was able to pinpoint what depression felt like. I realized that whether it was my hormones undergoing big changes or if it was big changes coming from the weather, depression is something that my mind grasps onto easily.

Now that I know what to expect in the winter months, I have been able to take steps to combat the effects of seasonal depression without going on medication.

Being proactive instead of reactive has been a big learning process and it’s been a lot easier said than done. It can be really hard to find the energy or desire to even find your way out of the “darkness” when you’re in the thick of it, but taking these small steps has been life-changing for me:

Start each day with a grateful mind.

First, I make sure to wake up every single morning and say out loud what I am grateful for. Putting positivity into my mind first thing in the morning really helps me get into a good mindset for the day.

Move your body.

Next, I make sure to spend at least 20 minutes each day moving my body. In the winter when all I want to do is do nothing, this can be really challenging. But whether I am just going on a walk or stretching on my bedroom floor, I always feel really good after I’m done.

Clean up the diet.

Another challenging (especially around the holidays) thing I try to focus on in the winter months is eating healthy. I have done so much research on nutrition and depression, and if you clean up your diet and get rid of a lot of the sugar, it can do amazing things for your mind.

I find that when I am eating junk, my brain feels like it’s in a cloud and I have a really hard time getting out of it. Eating (mostly) clean has a way of clearing up my mind and gives me a much better focus.

Soak up the cold, winter sunshine.

Soak up as much Vitamin D as possible. Even though it’s not 75 degrees and sunny, when the sun is shining on cold, frigid days, Vitamin D is still abundant. Sitting near windows or taking a quick stroll around the block are great ways to soak some in.

Get quality sleep.

Making sure I get 8-9 hours of sleep each and every night is also a key component to battling seasonal depression. Staying off technology an hour before bedtime and spending that time either talking with my husband or reading a book allows me to end my day on a good note and prepare my mind for quality sleep.

These lifestyle changes that I spend more time focusing on in the winter months when I am overcome with seasonal depression make a world of difference. Yes, those months I still find myself feeling more lethargic, unmotivated, negative, and gloomy than I do when it’s warm, but these things definitely help take the edge off.

Do you deal with seasonal depression? What things can you add to my list of things to do to combat the effects? Let us know in the comments!


Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive Cedar Rapids Moms posts in your inbox.  While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms events and promotions!!


 

Where to Celebrate National Donut Day in Cedar Rapids

0
Celebrating National Donut Day in Cedar Rapids is such a treat! Our local bakeries whip up the most delicious donuts, from classic glazed to creative, gourmet flavors. Honestly, it's so much fun that we...

Summer Bucket List | In & Around Cedar Rapids

0
Embark on an unforgettable summer adventure in Cedar Rapids! From vibrant festivals to serene nature trails, Cedar Rapids offers a plethora of activities that promise to make this season one to remember. Join us...

2024 Summer Reading Programs | In & Around Cedar Rapids

0
Discover the joy of summer reading in and around Cedar Rapids! Dive into a world of adventure, imagination, and learning with Summer Reading Programs. From captivating stories to exciting activities, there's something for everyone....

Splash Pads | In & Around Cedar Rapids

0
Discover the joy of outdoor water fun for all ages with splash pads in and around the Cedar Rapids area! From vibrant water features to interactive play areas, these refreshing spots offer a perfect...

Summer Movies | In & Around Cedar Rapids

0
Welcome to a summer filled with fun for kids and families in and around Cedar Rapids! Get ready for exciting indoor and outdoor movie screenings, perfect for enjoying the warm weather and creating lasting...
 
Join our community.
Be the first to know about new resources, can't-miss happenings, and new blog articles! 
Yay, we're so glad you're here! Keep an eye on your inbox