Change in the weather, change in mood

I went from sitting at McIvor lake in my swimsuit getting a little bit sun burned to wearing my fall jacket at my desk and waiting for my windows to de-fog in the morning in what feels like no time at all. And it seems to have affected my mood, energy and motivation levels.

There are other factors that have nothing to do with the weather that could also have impacted these things, but I think the weather change does have something to do with it, if only because the first day it started raining after that week of heat my co-workers felt foggy and zombie-like as well.

Summer is my favourite season, probably because swimming in lakes is one of my favourite activities, but I can’t just hide in my basement suite bundled up in a blanket watching Netflix and feeling sorry for myself all winter, I’ll go crazy.

I have come up with some coping strategies, and I thought I could share.

Of course I am going to start with eating healthy, exercising every day and socializing as much as possible, because I know those things keep me happy, but this winter I might also try taking vitamin D, the vitamin that your body makes when it is exposed to sunshine, and therefore can become low in the winter. I’m not sure if it is because of vitamin D, but when I feel sun on my skin my mood increases dramatically, so I figure it is worth a try.

On that same note, I also plan on getting a light that mimics sunshine. I’m not sure if it will help, but I’m going to try for preventative strategies this winter to try to avoid the emotional mess that I was last winter.

I also heard that aromatherapy could be helpful in keeping a light mood during the dark days of winter. I read an article that recommended using essential oils in the bath. I don’t need another excuse to climb into a hot tub and just relax.

This same article recommended sticking to a schedule to help alleviate symptoms such as insomnia. I don’t have trouble with that unless I am extremely stressed, but some other summer-lovers out there might. It also recommended taking a vacation in a warm climate. If you are thinking of doing this and just so happen to have an extra ticket I would love to tag along. That’s the only way I’m getting off the Island this winter.

Another recommendation is to keep a journal. For me writing down my thoughts helps me process and keeps me happy and hopeful. Give it a try! You never know what will work.

Along that same line, I encourage you to do something that you love to do everyday. I try to do this and I find it helps to have something to look forward to, to have a goal to strive for.

Keep in mind that Seasonal Affective Disorder is also a diagnosable mood disorder, so if you feel like you need extra help, talk to your doctor.