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Don't Fall into the Winter Depression Trap

Don't Fall into the Winter Depression TrapIt’s easy for us to become “stuck” in a funk during the winter months. Our days are shorter, the temperatures are cooler, and there’s nothing left to do outdoors. The potential for loneliness to creep in is much higher during this time of year, and the temptation to lounge around eating comfort food increases. Sure, these may make us feel better in the moment, but these behaviors can lead to a deeper spiral of depression and anxiety if we don’t take action to combat them.

Cabin fever is a common issue this time of year, however, it doesn't have to be an issue if we plan in advance. Instead of slowing down, it’s important to stay active during the winter months—not only physically, but also mentally. One way we can do this is by planning out activities to keep us busy. Even if the options are limited, there are still plenty of safe activities like 'socially-distant Zoom dinner parties, online classes, outdoor activities that adhere to safety regulations, or even just catching up on old streaming shows.

It’s also important to stay connected with loved ones. We may not be able to see each other in person, but that doesn’t mean we cannot stay connected. With modern technology, there are more options than ever to stay in touch with family and friends. We have access to texting, phone calls, virtual meetings, etc., so no one ever needs to feel alone during this time of year.

Regular exercise is another important piece of combating winter depression. Exercising helps boost our energy levels, and endorphin levels, and it also releases serotonin which lifts our mood. This can be as simple as going for a walk every day or taking up a classes in-person or online. If we make an effort to stay active, it’s a major step towards avoiding the winter blues.

While we want to stay active, we also have to make sure we get enough sleep. After all, our bodies need rest and relaxation, especially during the winter. We need to make sure we’re getting enough sleep and that our sleep cycles are regular. A lack of quality sleep can contribute to loneliness and fatigue, which worsens our mood and emotions.

Lastly, remember to take time for yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in avoiding winter depression, but in order for us to truly fend off the blues we have to be kind to ourselves. We have to carve out time each day to do something we enjoy, be it reading a book, cooking a special meal, writing, painting, or simply sitting in silence and having a cup of tea. Taking time for self-care is essential in the winter months as it helps to boost mood and provide a sense of relaxation.

It’s important to be aware of the signs of winter depression and take comfort in knowing we’re not alone. We may feel stuck indoors with the impending darkness and bad weather, but if we take steps to stay active, stay connected, and practice self-care, we can push through and come out on the other side with a new outlook on life.

Hashtags

#WinterDepression #WinterBlues #StayActive #SelfCare #ConnectWithLovedOnes

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