Many states across the country are in the middle of winter weather conditions. By now, snow has been falling and the sky has been dark for months. The sun rarely peeps out behind the clouds. Being cooped up for so many months with little sunlight can lead to feelings of sadness and depression. It can be more difficult to get out of bed in the morning. It can make it harder to keep social engagements. There are, however, a few ways to get through these long months with your mental health still intact.
Take a vacation A vacation can be a great way to break up the everyday routine of the winter. If possible, travel somewhere that is warmer or has more sunshine. Even a couple of days away can do wonders for stress levels and feelings of sadness. If you are unable to get away from home, even consider changing up the regular home schedule with a night at a local hotel with an indoor pool. Spend a night out on the town seeing a musical or having a nice dinner.
Splurge on things that make you happy Perhaps you made a goal to save money by avoiding those expensive coffee drinks you like. However, be sure to treat yourself from time to time. If you had an especially tough week at work, or the weather has been very troublesome, consider making the drive to work easier with a splurge on your favorite coffee drink. Arrange a coffee date with a favorite coworker on a lunch break to break up the workday too.
Talk to a friend our spouse Many people are surprised to hear that others also feel this way during this tough time of year. Sometimes just communicating and sharing feelings with a trusted loved one can help you feel better. Attempt to identify any sources of your sadness during your communication. If you struggle with marital problems, communicate with your spouse on the possibility of couples therapy or even individual counseling.
Talk with a professional If you find that no matter what you do, your feelings of sadness do not improve, you may be dealing with depression. Depression is a biological problem that can often be fixed with individual counseling, medications, or both. Though it varies depending on the condition, psychotherapy treatments for depression usually lasts 10 to 20 weeks. In order for antidepressants to take full effect, experts recommend giving the medication four to six weeks.
About 16,000,000 U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. This made up approximately 6.9% of all adults in the country. It is important to remember that you are not alone. Individual counseling and depression counseling services can help drastically. Approximately 50% of Americans with major depression do not seek treatment for the mental illness. These people struggle on a daily basis and are generally not aware that there are successful treatments available.
Involve your family in your sessions In can be hard for an outsider to fully understand the effect of depression. It can be helpful for a family or spouse to attend a couple of the individual counseling sessions. Family and group therapy not only provides the family and spouse with valuable information about depression, but opens up the forms of communication surrounding the subject. It normalizes the mental illness and informs family members and spouses of things they can do to help.
Living in a state that experiences extremely long winters can be difficult. Some people are never able to adjust to the constant sunless days. It can make routines seem more tedious and can leave you feeling sad. Some people may never recover from these symptoms of extreme sadness after the winter is finally over. Attempt to improve your mood with things like vacation, social interactions, and splurges. If your intense feelings of sadness still do not improve, consult with a professional on the likeliness of depression. Individual counseling and psychotherapy sessions, paired with antidepressants tend to be extremely beneficial in reducing the symptoms of depression.