By: Angel Molekunnel, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader
As the winter chill settles in, I often find myself grappling with the all-too-familiar seasonal blues. The shorter days and colder temperatures seem to cast a shadow over my mood, prompting a quest for strategies to combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In this blog post, I invite you to join me on a journey of self-discovery as I share my experiences and offer insights into transforming December into a month of giving and kindness, a balm for the soul during the darkest days of the year.
Combating Seasonal Depression
1. Embracing the Sunlight
One of the first steps I take in combating the winter blues is to embrace natural light. Stepping outside during daylight hours, even if just for a few minutes, helps reset my internal clock and lift my spirits. I make a conscious effort to open my curtains wide, inviting the precious sunlight into my living space.
2. Establishing Routine and Stability
The winter months can feel chaotic, so establishing a routine provides a much-needed anchor. A predictable schedule, including consistent sleep patterns and regular meals, helps me regain a sense of control and stability, countering the feelings of isolation that often accompany the season.
I would highly suggest purchasing any of the listed tools to help you with seasonal depression. Or, ask someone to gift it to you 😉 All of these are under $25.
Light Therapy Lamp: Light therapy lamps mimic natural sunlight and can be beneficial for individuals with seasonal depression. Look for lamps with high lux levels and good reviews.
Aromatherapy Diffuser: Essential oils like lavender or citrus can have mood-boosting effects. An aromatherapy diffuser can help disperse these scents throughout a room.
Cozy Blankets and Pillows: Creating a comfortable and warm environment is essential. Consider soft blankets, cozy throw pillows, or even a weighted blanket for added comfort.
December: A Month of Giving and Kindness
Gratitude in Small Things
Shifting my focus from what’s lacking to what I have, I practice gratitude. Keeping a daily journal to jot down three things I’m thankful for helps me maintain a positive perspective, even on the gloomiest days.
Sprinkling Kindness Everywhere
December becomes a canvas for spreading joy through random acts of kindness. Holding the door for someone, leaving a heartfelt note, or paying it forward at a coffee shop—these small gestures create a ripple effect of positivity that warms both the giver and the recipient.
As I navigate the winter blues, I invite you to join me in embracing the light, both metaphorically and literally. This December, let’s make a conscious effort to spread kindness and generosity. By combining strategies to combat seasonal depression with intentional acts of giving, we can transform the darkest days of the year into a celebration of warmth, connection, and self-discovery.