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By Johannes Helmold

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Hi everyone!

winter bluesToday it’s going to be a bit of an unusual post, as it’s not going to be about writing. Winter has come, and along with Eddard Stark from the Game of Thrones, it makes me want to say, “Brace yourselves!” Why? Well, ‘cause now it’s the time for what we usually call winter melancholy, or winter blues, or seasonal emotional disorder, or whatever. What matters is:

1). many people (including myself, that’s why I am writing this) have it
2). you can actually do something to ease it

Winter blues (let’s call it this to avoid smart words) is typically caused by the lack of sunlight, since days in winter are the shortest in the year, and the sun is often hidden behind clouds. Generally speaking, it causes the lack of serotonin, which is one of the components of having a good mood. Though different people are vulnerable to the winter blues in varying degrees, the symptoms of it are common: sleepiness, fatigue, absentmindedness, annoyance, and apathy.

Fortunately, as well as symptoms, ways of dealing with seasonal depression are also common.

1. Try to be more exposed to light. Light often makes us feel better, be it sunlight or just a bright lamp. So, whenever there is a bright day, you should go outside, no matter how unwilling you are to do this. Even if it’s Sunday morning and all you wish is to do is lie in bed and watch “Scrubs” on your laptop. Oh yeah, and buy brighter light-bulbs.

2. Physical activity is what will save you in winter. Although at first glance, it is hard to do something active in winter, it’s not true. Snowboarding, skiing, ice-skating, sledding, building snow fortresses, having snowball fights—these are just some examples. You don’t have to force yourself into being enthusiastic. You have the blues, remember? You can’t be enthusiastic now. Just move around, do something active, and do it regularly—enthusiasm will come later.

3. Eat food that can increase your rates of serotonin secretion. To feel better, you will need to start eating bananas, eggs, turkey, avocado, and cilantro. Just make sure you don’t have allergies, or other negative reactions to these foods. You also need to eat products that contain A, D, and E vitamins, as well as Omega-3 fats.

4. You need more colors! As a person who likes photography, I enjoy winter, because it’s the time of wonderful black and white contrasts. But, at the same time the lack of colors is depressing. Look at the majority of people in winter: they are dressed in black, grey, or something else boring. Add colors to your everyday life! Buy some bright clothes, decorate your interior, paint your cat—scientists have long ago proved how bright colors positively affect your mood.

Well, here are just some of the tips that might help you. Despite their simplicity, they are effective, and if you practice them regularly, you will feel the positive effects yourself.

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