I don’t know about you, but my Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is in full bloom.
My husband says I am exaggerating, but this time of year definitely affects my mood and often gets me feeling down.
Over the years, I have discovered many tips and strategies that work to combat the winter blues.
First and foremost, I remember how lucky we are to have relatively mild and brief winters and how spring will be here before I know it. In addition, our winters are always sprinkled with intermittent bouts of warm weather. Just this past Christmas we experienced extremely mild temperatures.
Another thing that helps me is to plan my garden. I don’t have a big plot, so I have to be strategic when it comes to choosing what to plant for maximum production in a tight space.
I also love to spend time researching what shrubs and flowering plants will work in our yard, taking into account extremely shady areas as well as those that get sun. Nothing says springtime like those first few days when we are all outside playing in the dirt and basking in the sun.
Plan a vacation for spring or summer. Even if you are only planning a camping trip, or a quick getaway to the mountains, spend some time deciding when and where you will go and what activities you will do while you are there.
If you’re planning a trip to the north Georgia mountains, reserve your cabin and then look for festivals and other happenings in various towns surrounding your vacation destination. While you are planning, go ahead and make a few lists of things you need to purchase and/or don’t want to forget to bring.
Release those feel-good endorphins by upping your exercise routine. If you don’t have a gym membership, bundle up and head out to one of our beautiful parks. We are so blessed to live in a community that has so many beautiful places to walk.
If the weather is particularly nasty outside, take a stroll inside the gym at Central Park, or sign up for one of the reasonably priced exercise classes at one of our parks and recreation centers.
My parents used to head to one of the big malls and walk there. I am planning on visiting our amazing aquatic center as well — no need to worry about sunscreen.
Purchase a few houseplants. I admit that I am a year-round houseplant enthusiast, but when I pine for greenery outside, a few beautiful and lush houseplants are just the trick to give your spirits a boost. I recently bought a few flowering houseplants and they instantly gave my kitchen and office a springtime facelift.
I personally don’t use them, but I have friends who swear by the numerous self-tanning products on the market. They have a healthy glow and no worries about sun or artificial light damage to their skin.
If this time of year tends to get you down on yourself in general, try getting a new hairstyle or varying your color. Likewise, maybe a new outfit or stylish pair of boots will lift your mood.
Check with your doctor, but you may need to add a vitamin D supplement to your routine. One of my friends has taken vitamin D for years, but recently his doctor told him he needed to up his dosage.
There are so many health benefits to this important vitamin, many doctors (even those who are anti-vitamin) have been recommending it to their patients.
Watch some funny movies and/or stand up comics. Nothing cures a bad mood faster than laughter. I also like to read uplifting and inspiring books and listen to spirit boosting music.
Make sure you consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables along with Omega 3-packed fish to "feed" your brain and keep your immune system healthy.
Perhaps most importantly, keep a positive attitude and remember that a beautiful spring is just around the corner.
Adlen Robinson is author of "Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home." E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.