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winter blues

Gray Days Ahead: How to Cope with Winter Blues

Cold, dark days often awakens the gray day blues in a lot of people.

In fact Seasonal Affective Disorder –  known as SAD –  is very prevalent in the Unites States and especially for those living more North.

Symptoms vary among each individual, but may include:

  • Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, nearly every day;
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed;
  • Having low energy and feeling sluggish;
  • Having problems with sleeping too much;
  • Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating and weight gain;
  • Having difficulty concentrating; and
  • Losing hope.

Research has shown that light therapy, vitamin D, and some anti-depressants may help those symptoms. There are other things you can do, too:

  • With depression, it is hard to complete daily tasks. If possible, walking outside just 15 minutes a day boosts your mood even when it is not “sunny” outside;
  • Socialization often helps as well even if it is limited to social network, zoom meetings with friends and family;
  • Taking up a hobby may help the days go by just a little smoother and your brain will concentrate on the activity;
  • One of the positives about living in Buffalo is that it is filled with a lot of winter activities, so maybe break out of your daily routine and try something new. This will boost your mood, and you will possibly find something new you like.

For me reading books (getting into a new series I may have been putting off) and crafting helps me pass the gloomy days away. I also do a countdown to spring and start planning my garden for the coming season.

Reaching out for more help is always a good idea, too.

Christin Estrada

Sr. Manager of Outreach and Engagement

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