The holidays, or just the transition of seasons between them, can cause many of us to have mood changes and a harder time finding constant happiness. It is a time when seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is more common. SAD is defined on Web.md as a "type of depression that occurs during the same season each year." It varies from person to person, but the holidays can lead to SAD due to unrealistic expectations, changes in weather, or loneliness, among other things. Here are some ways that you can get through the season in a healthy way and make the best of it:
1. Stay connected and reach out to others
Even though there may be more rain and cold outdoors, do not let it keep you cooped up inside for too long. Reach out to your friends and family and try to avoid prolonged isolation.
2. Take care of your basic needs
3. Get outdoors
4. Find consistency in your life
Target things that you do daily to remind yourself that certain things will always be the same, even as everything else changes. Developing a routine helps with this, even if it is as simple as showering at the same time each morning or heading to the gym at the same time during the day.
5. Consider artificial sources of light
There are technologies designed to provide extra indoor light to boost your mood and energy.
6. Acknowledge what you need at any given moment
7. Develop wintry hobbies and interests
Taking up activities that are winter-related can help make the season more fun. Ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and baking can be great outlets.
9. Talk about it
10. Work on your perspective
11. Be kind
Holidays are joyous times for many, but they can be hard for others. Regardless of which one you are, try to open your mind to the idea that everyone goes through it in a different way. It is the season of giving, so do some of that, too!