Four Ways to Navigate SAD

By ena ganguly

In Texas, it’s that time of year again. Winter. For some of us, winter is a chance to make hot cocoa, snuggle up into our favorite blanket, and maybe even light a fire, if we can. For others, winter is a sad, sad, sad season, not because of the drop in temperature but because of the lack of sunlight. Even science knows it! A lack of sunlight actually does make us feel SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The good news is that we can find ways to support our mental health every year, around this time. Here are a few:

Brew some tea

Tea works wonders. Having a glass of peach blossom, lavender, or chamomile tea releases the feel-good hormones in our system and makes us feel better. If you’re a morning person, brew a pot of tea to drink when you wake up or to take to work. Having tea before bed can support restful sleep, but drink it ahead of time so you don’t have to use the restroom in the middle of the night.

Sleep enough, no matter how you do it

When the winter season arrives, we may feel a bit more sleepy, partially because of the gloominess outside but also because it’s cold. Once daylight savings hits, our sleeping patterns are disrupted, so try to go to sleep at least 15 minutes earlier than you usually would, and go from there. If you can’t sleep at night, try taking naps throughout the day, or sleep in in the mornings. 

Stay active 

The colder it gets the less you may want to do anything outside, so if you have a physical activity you like to do, make sure to stick to it during this season when you can really use a boost of energy! If you can’t think of one off the top of your head, 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, especially because you make something that you can then eat or share with others. Just cooking one meal is a lot, and will allow you to nourish yourself in a vital way. Cooking may even allow you to feel relaxed and in charge at the end of the process. Start with an easy recipe, one that consists less of the thing or things that you hate, like cutting vegetables or boiling things. 

Giving yourself the gift of clean

Water is a beautiful tool to keep our mental health intact. Whether it’s by drinking water, taking a shower, a bath, or even going to a heated swimming pool for a dip. Try to motivate yourself to keep your living space clean too, especially because you may be staying at home more often than going out. Maybe you start by organizing your desk, or picking up the clothes off of the floor of your room. This helps you have peace of mind and feel more relaxed in your space, knowing that the clutter is at a minimum.

What are some things you do when SAD is on the horizon? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@allgoqpoc)!

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