It’s grey outside AND it’s cold as fuck. You wake up- it’s dark, you come back from work- it’s already dark.
Let’s be honest, beginning of winter is definitely NOT the time of the year where we have the most energy. Don’t we all just want to be like bears and sleep until the birds start singing again and flowers go back to life? Seasonal depression, formerly known as seasonal affective disorder -SAD-, is “a pattern of depressive episodes that occur in line with seasonal changes”¹. Most commonly, it is diagnosed in winter in people living in countries far from the Earth’s Equator.
Why do we experience SAD ?!
Here’s the three main reasons why we have less energy and experience feelings of depression during winter. First of all, the reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter disrupt our body’s internal clock that can lead to mood disorders and affect the sleep/wake cycle. Secondly, a lack of sunlight also causes a drop in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects our mood. Finally, the change in season will influence the balance of the body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood. That explains why we feel moody, experiment fatigue, crave heavy comfort food, loose interest in what we usually like and feel overwhelmed by life in general.
It affects seriously about 5 percent of the population and mildly about 20 percent of people. It’s four times more common in women than men. It might (or might not) help you knowing that you are not alone in this, but just because it’s a common phenomenon doesn’t mean you should just accept your fate while crawling into your bed. You need to take steps to keep a good mood and boost your energy levels!
SO HERE’S A LIST OF
THINGS TO DO TO COUNTER SEASONAL DEPRESSION:
Go play outside: get yourself good winter gear and go outside: ski, skate, make a snowman, a snowball fight, walk…! Even if it’s cloudy and you feel tired, get at least 30 minutes of fresh air everyday and see how energized you feel after !
Exercise regularly: Find something that you like and MOVE !!! The Salty Club, an online platform that offers yoga practices and surf inspired workouts, the perfect thing to do to boost your energy level wherever you are!
Eat healthy food: The cold temperature and lack of sunlight makes us crave heavy meals high in carbs. But remember that this will just going to slow down your metabolism. Include light and colorful meals to your winter diet. The Salty Club offers a bunch of healthy recipes that will not only give you more energy, but that will also make your taste buds go cray-cray !!
Meditate: You know that thing you’ve been telling yourself for a while you should do, but you’re always too much in a rush to do it… Well, this is the perfect time to start including meditation to your morning routine. Just like your body, your mind needs to be train to feel energized. Here’s a free guided mediation you can use to get into that practice: The “Fuck It” Mediation.
Put your favorite song on and DANCE your ass off ! It’s scientifically proven that listening to the music that you like can improve your mood because it allows the brain to release dopamine, a neurochemical of happiness. Here’s a “feel-good” playlist.
Read a book: Pick a book and go to that warm and cosy place of your home. Reading activates your brain while allowing your body to relax and relieve stress. It also helps to fall asleep. If you don’t know what to read, here are some book suggestions.
Journaling: Writing is such a powerful tool ! Keeping a journal helps you clear your head. Writing your thoughts and emotions allows you to identify better what stressing you and helps you manage it. Here are some powerful questions you should reflect on and journal about. The Salty Club platform also offer an Empowerment section where you find some journaling exercises that will invite you to reflect on different topics in order to make you grow and help you build the life you want !
Learn a new skill: Try new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Challenging yourself allows you to grow as a person and it boost your confidence. It makes you forget about your concerns and be more present. You discover stuff about yourself that you didn’t know you had/want and it can lead you to new opportunities. Learn a new language, a new sport, how to play an instrument… If you’re looking to challenge yourself, here’s THE trip that you need; a mental & physical challenge that will leave you high on life!
Put your phone away: Stop scrolling, stop working, stop whatever you are doing with that device of yours and go do some of those things above!
And finally my favorite way of counter the moody winter:
Take vacations in a sunny, warm location! The Salty Souls Experience is pretty much a wrap-up of all those above: A transformative Travel Experience for girls. A 9 days all-inclusive retreat for girls only of surf-yoga-empowerment.A daily yoga practice, 1:1 surf coaching in the Ocean, theoretical surfing classes, d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s healthy meals, empowerment workshops, wild excursions in the country. An active week where you constantly challenge yourself and take time to reconnect with your true desires. You’ll definitely get your daily dose of sunlight as those trips are offer in Central and South America: El Salvador & Ecuador.
It’s a pretty damn good way to remedy to your yearly seasonal depression 😉
Feature Image: @walkwildstudio