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Overcoming the "Winter Blues"

By Eileen Bailey

The cold weather season is approaching. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or depression caused by the cold and shorter days of winter, can affect as much as 6% of the population of the United States. Since depression is a common co-existing condition, this may impact many people with ADHD. Below are ten tips to help you overcome the winter blues:

 

1)      Wear layers of clothes when outside in the cold weather. Layers, rather than heavy pieces of clothes, help you to avoid feeling weighed down and can be removed if the weather warrants.

2)      Use the winter months to begin a new hobby, develop an old hobby or learn something new. Keeping your brain occupied and active can help you feel good and remain alert during the winter months.

3)      Do something outside each day. (Unless the cold is health threatening). Bundle up in layers of clothes and take a walk. The fresh air will help you feel invigorated. Remember to wear a hat during really cold days. Keeping your head exposed can make you colder by allowing heat to escape from your body.

4)      Add color to your environment. Bring in fresh flowers, add brightly colored accents or pictures to your home or paint a room with a bright color. Having bright colors around can improve mood.

5)      Add color to your wardrobe. Many times fall and winter colors are muted, dark or earth colors. Add vivid colors to your clothes can make you feel more alert.

6)      Find activities to make you feel good. Bake cookies, light a fire, and enjoy the activities the cold weather offers.  Cuddle up and read a book or gather the family inside for a day of games.

7)      Eat healthy. Making healthy eating choices can help you to feel better, ward off winter colds and increase your energy. Choose the right foods to provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to remain healthy.

8)      Find additional and indoor ways to get exercise, join a gym or take the stairs rather than the elevator. Exercise has been found to decrease the symptoms of depression, even movement can lift your mood.

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