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March 13, 2021
The shortest days of the year are lit with holiday lights and festivities, but after the New Year passes, things get pretty dark. Spring seems like it will never come, as the first months of the year bring continued cold and minimal sun. It’s no wonder so many people get the winter blues.
This year has already been especially difficult. We were all excited to rid ourselves of 2020 only to find that our problems still exist in 2021. There’s still a pandemic. There are still politics. The news is still filled with dramatic hyperbole and genuine hate. It’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity, especially with social media fanning the flames. For those who feel like they are drowning in winter’s darkness, here are a few tips for dealing with the dark of winter.
Turn Off Your Screens: Believe it or not, your daily screen time should be monitored like a parent monitors the screen time of a child. Don’t believe you’re abusing your digital access? Subscribe to an app that monitors your smartphone usage. Unless you are a rare exception, you are bound to be surprised by how much time you spend scrolling through social media feeds or browsing useless content. Set up a time to be away from your digital devices, and you’ll enjoy being present in your own life for a change.
Go Outside: Every time you can get outdoors, do it. This is especially true during daytime hours. One of the reasons people get so depressed in the winter is that they don’t get out during the day. Sunshine makes the body release serotonin, a hormone that elevates moods and increases happiness. Even if you work indoors, spend your lunches or your breaks outside whenever possible.
Concentrate on Your Health: Don’t turn to unhealthy eating or other vices because of the winter doldrums. Instead, focus on your health and celebrate your body. That’s easier said than done. We have a tendency to make dark times worse by eating or drinking too much. Do everything to remind yourself that this too will pass, and live your best life with no regrets.
No matter what you do to get through the dark of winter, remember that it is temporary. You’ll soon start to appreciate coming home from work with more and more daylight remaining. The temperatures will rise, and before you know it, it will be time to put away the parkas and bring out the spring cardigans. If you really want to keep things in perspective, remember this. The darkest winters make for the brightest springs.
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