The good news is you don’t have school for the next few weeks. The bad news is that it’s cold, gray and miserable outside. If you find that you are feeling less than cheery this time of year, you’re not alone!
According to the American Family Physician, approximately 10 – 20 percent of people experience symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (Approximately 4-6 percent of people have winter depression. If your symptoms make it difficult for you to function in daily life, seek help from a professional.) Women are four times as likely as men and people who live farther north are more likely to have symptoms than someone who lives in the south. Common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and avoidance of social situations.
Even if you don’t have Seasonal Affective Disorder, you can still benefit from its treatments. During the shorter days of winter, people are more likely to suffer from a light deficiency. Even five minutes of sunlight can help. Open the blinds in your house to let in natural light, or take a quick five-minute walk during the middle of the day (even a quick lap around the parking lot of your workplace can do wonders).
Exercise is another great activity and it raises endorphins, which are the feel-good chemicals your body releases after physical activity. If you don’t feel like leaving your house for the gym, or simply don’t have time, try streaming an online workout video, such as the yoga and mindfulness videos from www.amazenu.com.
Try planning social outings with friends every few weeks. If you plan an event in advance, the anticipation can make you feel good and you are less likely to cancel or want to stay home than you would be with spur of the moment plans. Fun social outings can include game nights at a friend’s house, trips to a special museum exhibit, or theater tickets.
Enjoy this couple weeks away from school and the time with family and friends. And know that summer and warm weather is right around the corner!
For more yoga and mindfulness activities for your home and classroom, visit www.amazenu.com. Subscriptions start at just $9 per month.