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How do you stay positive in winter?

Like a lot of people, I suffer from seasonal depression. Actually, I suffer from depression in general, but winter is absolute hell for me. It sucks, because I live in Alberta... so winter seems to last FOREVER!

I'm on a fairly low dose antidepressant, and I take vitamin D year round (double the dose in winter). This winter has already been rough (even though it's not even technically winter yet!) as it's been snowing here since October, and the last couple weeks have been especially cold and crappy. I get to work while it's still dark, I leave work when it's already gotten dark... and I think that's what really affects me the most. On top of that, I have to get up earlier when it's snowy in case the buses are running late, and I've been getting home at least a half hour later than normal because of the roads. So I feel like not only am I at work when (or if) the sun comes out, but I have much less time to do what I like to do or what I have to get done in the evenings.

Then there's Christmas, which means money is tight... and money always stresses me out in general. My fiance and I like to be out of the house and DOING things on weekends, but when the weather and our finances don't allow for that, I tend to feel a little stuck and bored, you know?

I thought that this year I'd be less depressed than usual, because up until recently I was working retail - which is HELL at Christmas time. Last year I was often working until 11 at night, sometimes later, and would sometimes start work again at 7 or 8 the next day. At least this year I have a regular sleep schedule and more of a routine... but now I'm just depressed for different reasons.

I should also add that I do work out regularly - it used to be at least twice a week, but in the past three weeks I've bumped it up to at least four days a week (for at least a half hour and longer on weekends). I have a fairly decent diet as well, since I'm trying to lose weight too.

Any insight? It's going to be a long winter if I'm already THIS down in the dumps. :(


Asked by AdensMama0308 at 11:20 AM on Dec. 12, 2013 in Health

Level 24 (18,609 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Maybe look into getting a happy light.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:46 AM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • I can't speak highly enough about a light box. I lived in a brutally cold state for many years and winter lasted about 6.5 months. I finally got a light box about 4 years ago and it was a wonder. Completely worth the initial cost.

    Get outside as often as you can when the natural sun is shining. Even 15 minutes can make a difference. And if you're taking VitD make absolutely sure you're taking it with calcium or it won't absorb correctly.

    Answer by Brawn at 11:37 AM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • I couldn't agree more strongly about the light box. I bought one on Ebay for $120 a few years ago, mostly to shut my boyfriend up because he kept nagging me about it. I have a visual impairment, so I can't even see the bright light from the thing. My sleep cycles are all messed up because I don't get the natural cues of light and dark that tell the body when to sleep and when to be wakeful, so I tend to suffer from depression anyway, and winter is much worse. He read somewhere that a light box would help, and he wouldn't get off my back about it, so I bought one. It was the best money I ever spent! It worked like a charm. I put it on my desk and turn it on for fifteen or twenty minutes a day, and it has done wonders. He and my daughter can always tel if I've forgotten to turn the box on one day, even if I don't see anything at all shining from it. Who would have thought?

    Answer by Ballad at 1:11 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • I hadn't even heard of those! I'm definitely looking into it!

    Comment by AdensMama0308 (original poster) at 3:56 PM on Dec. 12, 2013

  • I heard about light boxes. Heard a lot of people in Alaska use them. I use to live in the Seattle Washington State area. Winters were dark their.

    Answer by louise2 at 5:40 PM on Dec. 12, 2013