How I got through the ‘winter blues’


by Lena Usovich

I hate the cold. No matter how beautiful winter is, the cold and the lack of sun make me depressed. To me, winter always was the most depressing time of the year. Sometimes, the weather is so bad you cannot do much outdoors and you have to spend a lot of time indoors. This year, I experienced Seasonal Affective Disorder for the first time. SAD is a type of depression characterized by symptoms like low mood, a loss of interest in daily activities, fatigue, feelings of irritability, frustration, or restlessness. It happens during certain seasons of the year, most often fall or winter, when the days are shorter and there is less sunlight.  

When the weather changes, I feel like a completely different person, depending on the season. I always thought that it was normal, and that every person felt the same. This winter, I felt unwell and I developed symptoms that I had not encountered before. I was tired all the time, my appetite had changed, and I had particularly higher cravings for sugary and starchy food. I felt sad and irritable all the time, had lost interest in daily activities that used to bring me joy before, and I was avoiding people.

Now I understand that the best solution at the time would have been to talk with my doctor to find some solutions to make me feel better and to cope, but I thought I could deal with it on my own. As a result, I made some bad decisions during that time that I now regret. But I realized that I had the strength and determination to make changes that would help improve my state.  

I was tired of constantly being in a bad mood and feeling sad, so I started reading a lot about the topic, googling symptoms, reading scientific articles, talking with people who have experienced seasonal depression, and I found my way out of this season of depression. I want to share my tips on how I eased my winter SAD symptoms. 

First, I started spending more time outdoors during the day, especially when it was sunny. During the day, I kept my curtains open. I increased my physical activities and started going to the gym every day. As you know, physical activity helps relieve stress, builds energy, and increases both your physical and mental well-being and resilience. I discovered activities that make me feel good, like taking dance classes, eating healthy, well-balanced meals, and trying to be patient and focus on the positives.   

I hope that these suggestions help you to cope better if faced with Seasonal Affective Disorder. Be sure to tell your family and friends how this change of season can affect you so that they can check in on you. They can also help you and support you.


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