So this WINTER thing sucks.

After weeks of lethargy, apathy and marathon television viewing (with no end in sight) I am crying UNCLE and admitting that my moodiness is probably more than a simple phase.

I just haven’t been myself. I’m unmotivated, irritable and sort of wandering aimlessly through my days.

So. Not. Me.

In the past I’ve scoffed at the notion that Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, was a real thing. (In my defense, there seems to be a disorder for everything these days. Just saying.) But once I began researching it, I not only believed it to be a real disorder, but I also found that I was (am) suffering from it. #grumpyface

Cloudy Sky

In case you aren’t familiar, SAD is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. Symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious
  • Losing interest in your usual activities
  • Eating more and craving carbohydrates
  • Gaining weight
  • Lethargy, lacking in energy and being unable to carry out a normal routine
  • Sleeping more and feeling drowsy and restless during the daytime
  • Social problems, irritability, not wanting to see people

Me. All of it. (Okay, I’ll admit that I actually crave carbs year round. You got me there.) 

As a result of learning more, I’ve begun changing the way I operate in the hopes of making some headway. And yes, it is actually working.

3 Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder:

1. Maximize exposure to daylight: This is a big one for me. Taking advantage of as much daylight as possible is key. My advice? Open up your curtains. If at all possible, sit near a window at work. Go for a walk if the weather permits. At bare minimum get your butt outside in the sunlight and breathe for a few minutes.

2. Practice healthy habits: I know, I know. This is common sense. If I have been told once, I’ve been told a million times not to underestimate the power of healthy living. Exercising, I’ve found, is a huge part of fighting the winter blahs. Eating well is also key. (I personally am a fan of clean eating as much as possible.) The toughest rules for me are that of consuming less caffeine and alcohol. (Ouch, right?)

3. Try some essential oils: Essential oils have long been touted as mood-changers. (Admittedly, this is another one of those things that I previously dismissed as non-essential. Call me Judgy McJudgerson.)  Specifically Jasmine, Lavender and Citric oils. These suckers and sweet smelling anti-depressants and are effective at lifting moods. (And bonus (!) the lemony scents are a great camouflage for stinky boys.) 

Hoping this helps some of you who are also white knuckling it until Spring!