January can be a difficult month for many people, even for those not normally prone to depression or bouts of melancholy. The winter months can trigger sadness and depression known as seasonal affective disorder. Therapists recognize a few reasons for this: the energetic rush of the holidays has ended, there are fewer daylight hours and darkness sets in earlier, New Year's resolutions can seem overwhelming to accomplish. Below are a few therapist-approved tips for beating the January blues.
3 Ways to Stay Positive During the Winter
Any type of depression or sadness is further nourished by isolation and loneliness. For this reason, it’s essential to stay connected to family and friends. Aim to socialize at least three times a week, whether it be a winter walk during lunch hour with a coworker, dinner with a friend, or a visit with a family member. Consider seeing a therapist for some extra support and guidance.
Get Some Sun
The effects of seasonal affective disorder and clinical depression can be reduced by exposure to sunlight. Although the temperature is cooler, you can still reap the benefits of the sun by sitting in your patio—bundled up—for a few minutes each day. You can also go for a stroll on a bright sunny winter day at a nearby park or around your neighborhood.
Take It Easy With Resolutions
Many people choose to implement major changes in the new year. If you set big expectations for yourself in January, take a step back and slow down. Review your resolutions and break them down into more doable steps. For instance, if one of your goals is to join a gym and work out five days a week, amend that to a more realistic goal. Start by joining a gym and working out once a week, building up over time to the full five days. If you're going on a diet, introduce new foods and eliminate bad foods gradually.
These tips will help you manage the ups and downs of January, and a therapist can aid you even more on your journey. White Spruce Counseling in Rochester, NY, is here to help. They offer several types of mental health counseling, including individual therapy, anger management, and substance abuse counseling. Call (585) 424-2436 to schedule an appointment and visit them online to browse their mental health support services.