Shayne on You: Beating the winter blahs

Dear Maggie,

Itís the middle of winter, the holidays are over, and all thatís left is snow and cold and grim dark, short days and endless nights. Every year I get what the old timers call ďcabin fever.Ē And every year, I spend half of the winter blue, glum and miserable. Itís tough to have a positive attitude when youíre depressed. Help me beat the winter blues this year!

Signed,

Sadly Shivering

Dear Shivering,

The key to getting past it, and by getting past the winter blahs is this. You donít need to like the cold or the snow or the darkness. You simply need to find things you do like, that you can do during these months. Thatís the thing. Trying to convert you to a snow-bunny might not be logical, but if you think thereís any chance in the world that you might enjoy skiing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, ice skating, or the like, do give them a try. Maybe challenge yourself to try each winter sport at least once, just in case. I force myself to go out back every once in awhile with the saucer shaped sled I bought, and slide down the hill. The dogs love it!



If being outside isnít your thing, give some thought to the extra time for indoor projects that we have in the winter months. Hobbies, puzzles, indoor chores like cleaning the attic or basement, sewing or crochet if youíre into those things. There are so many things to devote time to that you might enjoy.

Winter is prime time for photography, for starting an aquarium, for all sorts of things. I recently bought a ping-pong table to liven things up around the house, and I have a blast with it.

So thatís first, finding things to enjoy. The second part of the problem youíre having might be a touch of seasonal depressive disorder Ė a lot of people get real symptoms of depression that seem to be brought on by the lack of sunlight in the winter. To counter this, get lots of exercise, itís vital. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies than ever. And you might try installing a full spectrum light in an area of the house where you spend lots of time. Itís been shown to help.

Mostly, though, do what I do. Focus on whatís good, not whatís bad. Even in the worst situations, there are things you can choose to look at that are good. If nothing more, notice that the days are getting longer and that spring is getting closer.

Best,

Maggie

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