Dear Kerry

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Dear Kerry

I think the change in the seasons has affected me because I have been feeling so down during the recent winter months. This started before COVID-19 hit. I actually have a good life and outside of this new situation with the pandemic, nothing was really causing me stress or sadness. I wonder if I am suffering from depression. What can I do to bring myself out of this funk?

 

It is not uncommon for people to feel down during the winter months, so please know you are not alone.

It is not uncommon for people to feel down during the winter months, so please know you are not alone. While the exact cause of seasonal affective disorder is unknown, it is widely suspected that less sunlight and more isolation are largely at fault. People tend to thrive off interacting with others, and many studies have confirmed the positive effects of sunlight’s vitamin D. Should you suspect depression, do not hesitate to contact a licensed therapist for an evaluation; however, if this is a seasonal issue, there are many natural and behavioral ways to combat seasonal depression.

These can also apply to those suffering from depression as a result of COVID-19.

Start your day off strong and soak up the morning sunshine, as the blues tend to be the most powerful in the morning. Enjoy a fantastic stretch, then open your curtains and bring in that natural light to lift your spirits. Speak with your doctor about having your vitamin D levels tested or about whether purchasing some supplements might an option.

Now that the weather is nice, don’t be afraid to get outside. A brisk walk in cooler weather can be healthy for kids and adults alike. Plan for next year. If you are able to swing it, plan a winter vacation. You can go somewhere warm, find an indoor waterpark for the kiddos or hit the slopes for some winter sports — do whatever you think you would look forward to the most.

Come up with reasons to be around others so you can get in some much-needed social interaction to combat any isolation that naturally comes with being closed in the house. Get a workout in to get your endorphins pumping. Plan a date night with your honey, either in or out of the house to keep the core of your family strong when the going gets tough. Create traditions with family or friends that will give you something to look forward to. Saturday night could be board game night, or make Friday night your regular movie night. Plan a monthly party with friends where you get all bundled up and have some snacks and drinks by the fire pit while the kids play outside. Whatever you decide to do to beat the winter blues, keep in mind this is only for a season.

Spring has sprung, the weather is getting warmer and the days are getting longer. Hopefully those factors will lift your spirits.

 

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