By Caley Breese
Along with the shortness of days and increased hours of darkness that comes this time of year, a general feeling of having the blues also comes for many people. If you feel as though you have an abnormally low amount of energy, maybe your appetite has changed, or you’re having trouble sleeping around this time of year, these could be signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder. And you’re certainly not alone if you’re feeling this way.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, often referred to as SAD, is a form of depression that affects individuals when the seasons begin to change. SAD affects people during certain times of the year, most commonly when the fall and winter months hit. However, in some cases, SAD can affect a person’s mood as the spring and summer months near, but this is generally more rare.
According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, six percent of the U.S. population is affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, most of which primarily live in northern climates. Moreover, a milder form of SAD, which is often known as “winter blues,” affects an additional 14 percent of the U.S. adult population.
If you have what you think is SAD and it is affecting your daily life in a debilitative way, you should seek the advice of a physician. There are some other measures you can take if you’re just feeling “blah” from time to time. Sometimes just the addition of a new activity or practice can help your brain go from blah to busy and productive. See our suggestions below.
1. Arts & crafts/DIY
We’ve all said countless times that we want to create a D-I-Y (or Do-It-Yourself) project, but never had the time or got around to it. Well, no more excuses. Pinterest some fun, creative ideas, like a home décor or a home improvement project, and get craftin’!
2. Indoor exercise
Don’t feel bad about not getting to the gym just because you can’t get outside. Search or even create your own workout to not only help pass time, but get those endorphins working and feel great—even when you are stuck inside. And who says you need gym equipment? Plenty of workouts can be done equipment-free, like yoga or bodyweight resistance training.
3. Purge clothes
You’ve been talking about it for a while and it’s finally time to get this chore done: purge clothes you haven’t worn in a while. This will be beneficial in so many different ways. It will create space in your closet (hello, shopping spree!) and you can help someone in need by donating those clothes to a local charity. Win-win.
4. Redecorate or rearrange furniture
Tired of seeing the same old furniture arrangement and decoration placements? Take this indoor time to switch some things up. Create a new energy flow by moving the couch to a new spot in the living room or switch around or even create some new wall art. Toss in some pillows with bright hues and find a fresh, new scent for your aromatherapy diffuser.
5. Cook or bake something new
If you’ve wanted to create something new in the kitchen, now is the time. Search for a tasty recipe online that you’ve wanted to try, or be inventive and create something yourself. And if you’re not much of a chef, use this time to learn. Order that dinner box subscription service you’ve been thinking of and have the added fun of opening your package and using teamwork to cook up a nice evening at home.
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