Like most of us, I think I have had enough snow to last for the rest of the year. And cold! Average temperatures for the area are far below normal.
Wet. Cold. Gray. A perfect formula for depression.
The local weather looks like it was designed for one of those commercials for an anti-depressant medication. (Ever notice how the weather improves in those commercials, right after they introduce the product?) There is a great amount of research out there about the connection between mood and weather and I definitely see it in my practice. And with the weather these days, it is typically the first topic of any therapy session.
Since it looks like there may be no end in sight - I thought it might be helpful to pass along some tips for combating those bad weather blues.
Find the beauty in it. If there were no cloudy days - we would never appreciate the sun. Take a moment and really absorb the beauty of rain and the awesomeness of storms. They can be quite breath taking!
Focus on the positive and surround yourself with positive people. Enough already with the complainers and negative talk about the weather. Focusing on the clouds just make them worse and allows depression to feed on itself.
Buy Fresh Flowers Once a Week - They don't have to be roses, and they don't have to be expensive. Stop by your local grocery or flower shop and pick up a cute little bouquet made up of wildflowers or other common blooms. Be sure to follow the directions when putting them into a vase and add the plant food. Place them in an area of the house you spend time in, such as the living room or dining room. It'll brighten up your home and your mood.
Change Your Bulbs - Is your indoor lighting a little harsh? You might be surprised to know you can get light bulbs that actually simulate natural outdoor lighting! This can help soften the blow of losing so much sunlight; and again, it will probably make you feel better.
Keep Eating Fresh Fruits & Veggies - Even if you don't grow them yourself, you probably eat more fresh fruits and vegetables when it's warm out. When the cold weather hits, that seems to stop. During colder months, people eat fewer fresh foods and more canned or frozen foods. To stay feeling fresh, try eating fresh. Eat fresh or steamed fruits and veggies at least once a day. It's good for you, and it's one less change from the warm days of summer.
Get out there! You wont melt - get outside and move around. If you know anything about me - I'm a big proponent for moving your body and using that mind / body connection.
Finally, realize that there is a strong connection between the gray weather and your bad mood. That realization can be powerful. It tells you that there is a reason for your lethargy and grumpiness. And it tells you that it is temporary. Don't be a victim to the weather. Make a conscious choice to focus on the positive and improve your mood.