Four Ways to Combat SAD

By enakshi ganguly

In Texas, we are finally feeling the onset of this bitter winter ahead of us. For some people of color, winter is a sad, sad, sad season, not only because of the drop in temperature, but also because of the gradual lack of sun light. Quite literally, it makes us feel SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), so we have to be very deliberate in the ways we spend our time this season, because if we don’t do so mindfully, we can fall into a seasonal inertia of sorts.

There should be a lead into to the list.

Make tea

  • I know this sounds minimal, but tea can really work wonders. Having a glass of sage, chamomile or green tea releases the feel good hormones in our brains and lifts our mood! If you’re a morning person, brew a pot of tea to drink in the morning or take it with you to work. Having tea at night can also help with restful sleep, but make sure to drink it at least two hours ahead of time so that you don’t have to use the restroom in the middle of the night.

Get your sleep

  • …which brings me to my next point. Sleep! When the winter season hits, we all feel a bit more sleepy or lethargic, partially because of the gloominess outside, but also because of daylight savings. Once daylight savings hits, our sleeping patterns may be disrupted, so try to go to sleep at least 15 minutes earlier than you usually would, and go from there. This helps your body get used to the quicker onset of night that happens during the winter time. Stick to a bedtime that works for you and avoid looking at screens or bright lights right before trying to sleep, instead, try reading a book or do an activity that relaxes you.

Stay active

  • I know the colder it gets the less we want to do anything outside, so if you have a gym you like to go to, make sure to stick to it during this season when we can really use a boost of energy! If you don’t have a gym, do some light stretches at home when you wake up, some yoga or go for a walk with a friend or your dog! Physical activity will keep your digestion regular, your mood may be better, and hopefully you will be sleeping well too.

Cook food

  • This is a great self care technique for me because I get to make something with my hands that I then get to experience. Even if you just cook one meal, do it! It may make you feel more grounded, relaxed and in control. Plus you get to indulge any cravings you may have had.

Keep clean

  • During this time, it’s important to use water as a medium to cleanse the body. Drink plenty of water during this time, and make sure to take a shower or a bath, if not every day, then every other day. In addition, make sure your environment is clean as well. Make sure to organize your desk, room or office during this time so that you feel like everything is in order and you can access anything you might need. This helps us have peace of mind. If you’re into cleanses, try a seasonal cleanse where you eat less processed foods and sugar and more seasonal veggies and fruits. This should support your body as you get more acclimated to the coming season.

What are some things you do when it’s winter time? How do you keep from getting SAD? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram (@allgoqpoc) and Twitter (@allgoqpoc)!