Every person I talk to that has any symptoms of anxiety or depression prefaces it with, "It's because I am so sick of the winter . . " "I'll be better when I can start getting outside." "Who doesn't feel like this with this weather?"
Then today at Starbucks I heard someone bawling their eyes out (no, I really have no clue what was going on), and I've just witnessed from afar another out-of-the-blue-crying spell from someone who otherwise is a non-crier.
This year's particular brand of the winter blues is almost as pervasive as the nasty hanger-on-cold-bug that is flying around.
February is notoriously the worst month for those of us that dislike winter. I'll refrain from going on and on about seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you can google it and find out all you want to know, but like I've inferred before-- most "mental health diagnosis" run on a bit of a continuum and you can certainly have a little of the winter blahs or cabin fever without it being full-blown SAD.
I just saw one online poll the other day asking people if their moods were negatively affected negatively by winter and 74% of the responders affirmed.
We've been struck with a couple of brutal winters in succession. Here are a few tips that have helped me get through this winter relatively unscathed:
Now don't laugh-- but when it is grey and nasty out and even when mounds of snow have that dingy film on them, I put on my best inner mary-sunshine voice and say to myself, "I love days where you never see the sun . . . the colder the better . . . nasty sludge is just as pretty as new fallen snow . . ." and idiotic things of a similar nature. All I know is that playing Pollyanna is better for my mood than the alternative (when is this ever going to end . . . I HATE winter . . . I am miserable and frozen . . .)
I do much better if I can get out in the sun or even just outdoors every day. I can dread hauling myself out in freezing weather with a vengeance, but after I'm out there I am always thankful.
I always handle winters better the years I exercise more consistently during the frigid cold.
Mainly, my purpose here today day was that I wanted you to know that if you are quite ready for this winter to move into spring you are absolutely not alone.
Just tell yourself the age-old parenting mantra for difficult times, "this too shall pass . . ."