I have a hard time believing Brigham Young when he said, “This is the (right) place.” Ever since Junior High, living in Utah has been extremely difficult for me.
If you’re dreading the colder seasons, wherever you may live, raise your hand. I dunno ‘bout you, but my hand is in the air—spirit fingers and all. Winter is the absolute WORST in my book! And if you agree, these words are for you, my friend.
Perhaps you simply hate the cold. Or perhaps it’s a little more serious than that.
Now I know that weather patterns are different everywhere you go. You could be dealing with snow, rain, or even just endless cloud-cover. Here’s what it’s like where I live:
Beginning in October, the Utah air starts to freeze, the inversion sets in, and it seems even the sun has flown South for the winter. This dreary weather pattern continues through March, meaning half the year consists of cold and dark days. Depressing, right? In fact, a type of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (a.k.a. SAD) stems from such times.
SAD is something I’ve struggled with for years as I am an outdoors enthusiast who also believes that feeling cold is the equivalent of feeling pain (maybe even worse). Because of this, I give up on my beloved outdoor adventures and drive myself stir-crazy in the comfort of my fuzzy socks and tiny college living space.
As mentioned previously, I’m not talking just a few months here. I’m talking 6 EXCRUCIATING MONTHS of cold, inversion, and little to no sunlight. Thanks, Utah. I love you, too.
So, what’s a “sad” girl to do?
Vitamin D + Vitamin K
One of the possible causes of SAD could be the lack of vitamin D absorbed from the sun. And if you’re like me, you’re vitamin D deficient, anyway. My mom and I always called it our “happy pill.”
Vitamin K is also helpful because it assists the body in absorbing the vitamin D. Obviously, I’m not a doctor, so you should probably see yours before going this route. But if he/she gives you the okay, pop those sunshine pills, baby!
Find Ways to Still Do the Things You Love
My dad and I LOVE hiking, so the winter months can get pretty boring for us. Then, we had the revelatory idea to go… Snowshoeing! Game changer. It doesn’t quite satisfy my need for green trees and dirt under my feet, but it’ll get me through until April again.
You might have to get pretty creative, or even try something new, but I promise that there are still fun things to do in the colder months—whether inside or outside.
If you need help, whether alone or with family, check out these lists:
Just Embrace It
My brother and his wife lived in Alaska for a short time where the winters are obviously ten times colder and darker than they are in Utah. They said that the people there get through it by simply embracing it.
Take a cozy nap, read a good book, drink some hot chocolate, make snow angels. Do things you normally wouldn’t do in the summer because you’d rather be outside in the sun.
Perhaps there have been things around the house or in your personal life that you’ve been neglecting. Take this as an opportunity to get your life in order before the fun summer months circle back. Take this time to practice self-care.
Get Help When You Need It
I’m not going to sit here and tell you of the “natural remedies” for your seasonal depression while disregarding the professional ones. If it comes down to it, seek help. There’s absolutely no shame in that! Take it from someone who knows.
If anything, my seasonal depression has taught me to appreciate the warmth even more. When summer comes, I don’t want to waste a minute of it. When winter hits, I’m beyond grateful for the comforts of a heated home.
I hate it when people say this, but make the most of whatever season you’re in! It’s cliché, but it really is a good survival tactic.
If you have any other helpful tips for fighting SAD, please share them in the comments! Let’s help each other out.