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Got the Winter Blues?

Got the Winter Blues?

Noticed a change in your mood lately? You’re not alone.


There may be a few people who would say that winter is their favorite season. However, for the majority of people, winter can be a time of feeling “trapped” inside or struggling with the “winter blues.”  Other people find it difficult to stay motivated during the winter season.  This may be due to holiday stress or the lack of sunlight during the winter months.  Many people may feel a bit “blue” during the winter, but when the winter “blues” start seriously impacting your ability to function, it is called seasonal affective disorder.  If you are feeling like you are having difficulty functioning, it is time to seek help at the campus counseling center or local counseling center.  However, for those people who feel like they just need a little boost, the following suggestions may be helpful.

Research has shown social connectedness is very important in battling depression. During the winter, it is easier to be isolated, but this is not helpful for battling the winter blues.  If the weather is bad and you can’t get out, make it a point to contact a friend by phone or have a meaningful conversation.  In addition, a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids is essential in battling the winter blues.  Omega-3 fatty acids can be taken as dietary supplements or can be found in food such as fish.  Engaging in meaningful activity is also a big part of maintaining a positive outlook during the winter.

Like the seasons of our life, it is important to remember that winter is a season and it won’t last forever.  Remembering that spring is “around the corner” can also be helpful for people who are working to maintain a positive mood.

During the busy holiday season, it is easy to go through life on “autopilot” and just try to complete the next thing on your list.  But, it is essential to take time to engage in activities you really enjoy.  You’ve probably heard it before, but exercise is a big part of maintaining good mental health.  You don’t need to run 3 miles a day.  Hard exercise for 30 minutes per day (4-5 days per week) should be enough to improve your mood.

Finally, sunlight is important for maintaining good mental health.  How, might you ask, can I get sunlight during the winter?  First of all, there is a light box on Crown College’s campus for people who are battling the winter blues.  If you can’t make it to campus, you can purchase your own.  Northern Light makes good quality light boxes that I would recommend.

Like the seasons of our life, it is important to remember that winter is a season and it won’t last forever.  Remembering that spring is “around the corner” can also be helpful for people who are working to maintain a positive mood.  Pre-planning some outdoor activities can also turn our minds toward spring.  With time, the winter blues do pass and spring will be upon us again.

Written by Jennifer Dyson

Jennifer is a licensed clinical psychologist at Heritage Professional Associates, a group practice in the Chicago suburbs. She teaches several counseling courses for Crown Online.