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What is SAD? + How To Stay Positive During The Gloomy Winter Months — Let’s Chat Y’all!

“Seasonal affective disorder. … Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.”

Season affective disorder is REAL people. I honestly never really understood the concept in great depths.. until I found myself struggling from it. Some people may refer to it as the winter blues, but at the end of the day it alllll means the same thing. Suffering from sadness during these gloomy months can be something that weighs heavy on all our hearts, that sadness may be periodic and isn’t necessarily ‘SAD’ — but it’s still there and it’s REAL! So today I wanted to make a post giving you pointers and just talking about things that really help me during these months. Now if you’re from a place where Winter feels the exact same as Spring and Summer, then this may not be something that you can relate to. BUT that being said, the tips/advice that I am going to give today may still be helpful. Even if you are struggling for your own reasons aside from the ‘winter blues’, the power of positive thinking let alone can make a difference. Let’s get into this y’all. 

Getting out of the house — The benefits from a change of scenery 

I don’t know about you guys but getting out of the house during the colder months is such a struggle. Who wants to leave your cozy couch, to endure the cold Winter weather? Not me! But with that being said, my mental health can be very much affected when I decide to stay inside and stare at the same walls over and over… GET OUT OF THE HOUSE! Whether it be a coffee date with a friend, a walk around the mall (window shopping is the best don’t @ me), visiting with a friend, going to the library; the list is ENDLESS. Just put on your shoes and your warm Winter coat and get the hell out of that house. Stop wallowing, stop watching Netflix reruns. A change in atmosphere, a different space — has SERIOUS benefits.

Example: Instead of me sitting at home in my pjs, not showered, writing this post from my couch: I decided to get up and come to the Library. The difference it has made in my mood, and my ability to GET SHIT DONE is crazy. I’m serious guys.

(my current view @ the library)

Keeping active

If you can’t get out of the house because it’s too cold? THAT’S NO EXCUSE.

If you can’t afford a gym membership — join the club! THAT’S NO EXCUSE.

It’s 2018, we have so many resources at our disposal. Indoor workouts are a search on pinterest away. Put in the search bar “home workout” and there are 14938252852052 different posts to get your booty MOVING!

Exercise is well known to not only have physical benefits BUT also has such an impact on our mental health! It’s well known to stimulate the body by producing endorphins and enkephalins — the body’s natural feel good hormones. Exercise directly affects the brain. It’s just that simple! Regular exercise INCREASES the volume of certain brain regions. Whether that be a 10 minute workout VS a 30 minute workout. Get your body moving, your heart racing; work up a sweat! You’ll be SO happy that you did once you get it done. It’s hard to make the excuses when I have it written here in fine print — IT WILL HELP Y’ALL!!!! Do this for yourself, and yourself only.

Just for reference, this is the workout I have been doing. Now if you think I can do 15 pushups.. think again! But I do the best that I can and that’s totally okay too. Do what you can guys! Work as hard as you can, push yourself as far as YOU can go — that’s all you need to ask from yourself. Give it 100%!

Reading a good book/article/whatever the hell you want to read

Okay, this is a big one. I can’t even begin to describe how much reading helps me. Ever since I signed up for the Library, I have been reading so much. The best part about the public library is that it’s FREE and there are so many reading resources available. It doesn’t have to be a novel, it could be the newspaper or articles you found online. Reading has the power to reshape your brain and theory of mind. Knowledge is POWER!

Reading is also a great distraction. Instead of surfing through social media aimlessly, pick up a book. It can distract you from that wheel inside your brain that is constantly spinning…

Lastly, read literature that is beneficial to YOU. I love reading self help books, I have NO shame. If I can distract myself with a book, GREAT, but if I can distract myself with a book that could potentially benefit me, even BETTER! I will definitely make a post dedicated to all my favorite self help literature in the near future. But if you want a recommendation before I get to that post, PLEASE reach out. I would love to suggest a book for you to get your hands on!

Get outside!

There are so many benefits that come from being outside in the fresh air. I live in New Brunswick, Canada so I get it y’all — it’s freaking cold out there. But bundle up, and get out there.

Exercise and sunlight can get your blood flowing, providing organs with the proper nutrients AND energy. Lack of sunlight and lack of vitamin D can have a big affect on your mood. Vitamin D deficiency is a real thing, and it can most definitely affect your mental health. Especially in the Winter months! (I am NOT a doctor, but if this sounds like you, make sure you reach out to your physician)

The difference a bit of fresh air can make is huge. I can’t stress this enough!

I write these posts not only to hopefully help others, but also for myself. It keeps me accountable and is such a great reminder to look on. Some days are difficult. Some are harder than others. But y’all, this life is SO precious. You are worthy, you’re struggles are real and are important. And I’m extending a virtual hug to you all. This world can be tough — but it doesn’t have to ALWAYS be that way. Keep your head held high and hope for a brighter tomorrow. Make it happen for yourself, get outside, do something for YOU! I believe in your abilities, and I believe that we all deserve the very best — I believe that so deeply. If I can say that about you — whom I do not even know, then there is NO reason why you shouldn’t believe it about yourself FOR yourself. Sending so much love xo 

Just a reminder as well if you’re new to my site: make sure you head over to the sidebar located directly next to this article. There you’ll find the area where you can sign up with your email. This way you’re notified each time I post. You’ll never receive any spam or anything like that, just a simple notification to let you know I have a new post and that you should check it out. ☺

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