Fight Off Seasonal Depression by Setting New Goals

Fight Off Seasonal Depression by Setting New Goals

Winter is here and that means shorter days and longer nights. For many people, the decrease in natural sunlight can lead to a type of depression commonly called seasonal affective disorder or SAD. The lack of sunlight means our brains produce less serotonin and other hormones that regulate mood. We may feel more tired, unfocused, and unmotivated to do activities or leave our homes. Setting new goals can help you push through the winter blues, keep you motivated, and have you feeling positive come spring.

This winter, instead of giving in to feeling blue, set some revitalizing goals to energize your days. Having something specific to focus on that brings a sense of meaning and accomplishment can help lift your spirits and keep you feeling motivated.

If you find exercising hard to fit in during these months, start small. Even just a 10-minute walk outside can make a difference. The movement and dose of sunlight will release endorphins to naturally boost your mood. Slowly build up to more regular cardio exercise to keep the positive momentum going.

Winter months can feel mundane. Set a goal to challenge your brain by learning something new. The sense of progress and growth releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. Pick something you’re curious about like learning graphic design, a new language, yoga, pottery, or how to play an instrument.

Another way to stay motivated is to tap into your creative side. Studies show activities like art, music and journaling or writing all bolster mental health. Release pent-up emotions, do it for fun, or explore new talents. Turn photos into collages, write short stories, paint landscapes, sing your favorite songs. As your creative juices flow, your spirit will be uplifted.

Having a trip to look forward to can make even the darkest days of winter feel brighter. Spend time researching destinations, create an itinerary, book flights and hotels. The planning process will give you a regular mood boost. Envisioning yourself escaping to sunny beaches or powdery ski slopes can melt winter’s icy grip.

Clutter around your home or workspace can weigh on your mood. Winter is a great time to reclaim your personal space by sorting through and organizing your home. As you declutter drawers, closets and countertops, you will also clear your mind. An organized environment translates to a more focused, productive and motivated mindset.

Identifying goals for self-improvement provides a sense of purpose. Committing to goals can expand your knowledge, develop new talents, improve relationships, and benefit your mental health. The winter season no longer needs to mean putting your goals and dreams on hold. Channel the introspective energy this time of year brings by setting inspiring goals that move you confidently toward growth. The sense of forward momentum will lift your spirits and motivation even on the iciest of winter days.

At Living Well Counseling Center, we provide holistic care and services to both men and women. We work with our clients to help improve their lives, while providing a nurturing environment where one can achieve their present and future goals. We offer individualized therapy to men and women ages fifteen and older. If you or a loved one suffer from depression, get in touch today.

TELEPHONE: (732) 440-9330



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