Being in the North East, we have been getting pretty slammed this winter from the snow and cold weather. The winter time of year is a classic time to hear the phrase “seasonal blues”. We are trapped inside, avoiding the frigid temperatures as much as possible. But staying warm and dry has its own setback: lack of vitamin D. Among many health risks caused by a lack of Vitamin D, which is mainly derived from sunlight, a common symptom is feeling down or depressed (Huffington Post article on Vitamin D).
Of course, being stuck inside all winter with no fresh air is not the only cause of feeling “blue”. A relationship gone foul, a situation at work, or a bad situation can all affect your mood. How can we remedy this?
I certainly am not a scientist, and so I can provide no peer reviewed articles to support my claim here- but this is a method I have tried and proven to be effective any time I’m feeling down: become outward focused. Do something for someone else! Often, we feel down because we are focused on our own issues, on ourselves. When we take time to look at the needs and wants of others, to look at their issues and setbacks, our difficulties suddenly don’t seem so important (or at least stop consuming all of our brain-power).
I remember years ago when dealing with some intense issues in a friendship, that I took a breather from my own problems and went to visit some family friends in a different state. This family had a little boy who was very lonely because his big brother had grown up and moved away. I was able to take him out and have a grand time fishing, hiking, and just being guys in the woods and fields around town. Not only did this take my mind off my own issues, but it really helped him with his too! I returned home that weekend feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
So the next time you are feeling depressed about a problem in your life, or if the winter blues have got you down; do something nice for someone else and see how positively it will affect you!