Living Well: Weathering the Weather

As many parts of our country experience challenging winter conditions, many Canadians might find themselves with “winter doldrums.” For some this effect can be so severe that they are diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of seasonal depression that requires support from health practitioners.  

Here are some simple things that can help us to lessen the impact of winter weather on our moods. 

Get Some Vitamin D  

Light therapy is a great option for increasing Vitamin D exposure for those of us who can’t increase this naturally. With light therapy, Vitamin D comes in the form of a fluorescent lamp that is 10 to 20 times brighter than regular indoor lighting. Sitting near the lamp for only 30 minutes can boost your mood! 

Take Up a New Indoor Hobby 

Occupy your time indoors with a new hobby – whether this is a creative outlet like painting or cooking, challenging yourself with a mind game like Sudoku, learning a new language, or trying a yoga class. These activities can be most rewarding when done with someone else, so grab a friend or family member and experience a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try.  

Plan a Trip  

Just planning a trip gives us something to look forward to, which can help reduce weather-related feelingsA day trip to a nearby town, a staycation in your hometown or, if your budget allows, adventuring to some place farther afield can help interrupt your routine during the last stretch of winter.  

Talk about it! 

Talking about the weather comes naturally for most people. But when the weather’s getting you down, it can also be a great way to change your perspective. Whether this is with your doctor, a family member or a close friend, talking about it can help you work your way through your feelingsThe weather may be having the same effect on others. So you may be able to help those around you, too!  

Want more information on Seasonal Affective Disorder? Check out these resources: 

Seasonal affective disorder  

Seasonal affective disorder Overview  

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