Practical Tools for Parents with the Winter Blues (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

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The colors, scents, and spirit that fall brings are nice and all. But the winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)- not so much. For some of us, the changing season is a reminder that winter is coming.

*insert John Snow gif here* 

But in all honesty, not everyone goes wild over pumpkin spiced lattes, apple scented candles, and fall decor. It’s appreciated, but the truth is, some of us are highly sensitive to the changing seasons and lack of adequate sunlight.

Here’s what gets me through the winter blues in Maine:

Sip tea or coffee before the rest of the house wakes up.

You deserve a moment for only you before the day demands so much of your energy. A gratitude practice can do wonders for the winter blues. 

Watch comedy.

There’s nothing like a good belly laugh to kick up the feel good chemicals in the body and brain. Tap into joy any chance you get. 

Spend time on a passion project.

When I’m not writing blog articles, I’m going deep into my imagination to write fiction or make art. It puts a creative fire in my heart and keeps the boredom at bay.

Healing therapies.

Last winter I fell in love with the infrared sauna at The Fifth Om in Kennebunk, ME. They also have other therapies worth checking out. 

Regular exercise.

Getting to a gym or a yoga studio right now can be challenging, but there are other resources available via Youtube, social media, and mobile apps. Click here to see a list of Seacoast fitness centers and yoga studios offering online streaming workout sessions. 

Use a dawn simulator alarm clock.

I’ve been using an alarm clock (like this one) that gradually gets brighter as my wake up time approaches. It is intended to simulate natural morning sunlight and wake you up with ease.

Make a self-care box.

Fill the box with your favorite things then put it away for a rainy day. This could be a sweet smelling candle, hot cocoa, journal, Bob Ross bobblehead, or whatever strikes your fancy!

Consider trying aromatherapy.

There are many wonderful souls out there who are essential oil experts and they’re even growing their presence on social media. All you have to do is reach out! Click here to learn how this one Seacoast mom uses essential oils (safely) with her kiddos. 

Adjust the environment.

Perhaps consider rearranging furniture, tying the curtains back, or bringing in new colors to your space. Break up that stagnant energy that comes with the winter blues.

Hygge your space.

A Danish term for “cozy mood,” this philosophy has grown in popularity to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder. I find this to be a self-soother as I surround myself with blankets, hot beverages, and comfortable spaces.

Make meals in advance.

Prepping and freezing slow cooker meals has been a life saver. This is one way we can creative problem solve our way through the low energy of winter. This is a game changer when it comes to SAD. 

Go on a family adventure. 

Click here to read how this one Seacoast mom makes the most of winter months and manages Seasonal Affective Disorder by winter hiking with her family in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. 

Find creative ways to socialize. 

I’ve been appreciating the small talk with grocery store clerks and the friendly wave to neighbors across the road. Human connection can happen in the most unexpected ways. Click here to learn how to find mom friends on the Seacoast. 

Whatever you choose to boost your spirits during the colder months, be sure that you can find pleasure in it. Be sure that it can recalibrate you and that it can allow you to connect with the changing seasons in a positive way. And remember, reaching out if you need help is the bravest thing to do. 

*Of course, always ensure you are speaking to your medical professional before making any lifestyle changes.

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