When the darkness comes - How to deal with Winter depression

When I opened the curtains on Wednesday morning, the sun was welcoming me with its warm sunbeams. I opened the window and the fresh Spring breeze came into my room, the sound of birds and the vivid city was audible and the blue sky was shining brightly. That morning the Spring feeling arrived and I welcomed it with open arms. I was dancing through the city like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and my mood was the lightest. I couldn't stop smiling, life seemed so exciting and wonderful.

If you had asked me a month ago whether I suffered from Winter depression, I would've probably answered with No. But on that particular Spring morning, I realized that I might have stuck in a certain kind of dark Winter hole the past couple of months. 

They warned me. "Winter will be long and full of darkness!", "You will hate Winter in a few months!". I did not believe them. I love Winter! I adore snow, the cold days, the winter-sun, being cosy with a tea, a blanket, and good music, winter walks, the magical air of a winter morning - Winter is full of magic and beauty. But Winter has also its grey and rainy days. Days when it stays dark and miserable the entire day when the melted snow is covering the street and creates a path of mud instead of a winter wonderland. Winter can be cruel and depressive, lonesome and demotivating. I realized that after feeling the first rays of sunlight on my skin and the sound of the birds in the trees the other day after such a long time of rain. 

I knew this Winter would be long and you might have seen all the photos of sunny winter days, of my adventures in the snowy woods and my time at the countryside with the northern lights and tons of snow. I am still in love with the north and its long winter months, but I started to appreciate Spring and Summer much more after those weeks of greyness. I am looking forward to the green forests, flowers and longer days. Winter can be very quiet sometimes. When the world is covered in snow the earth turns silent. Winter has its own magical sounds, like the sound of ice on a frozen sea or the sounds of a snowstorm outside of the window, but I am happy to listen to the birds singing again, to hear the summer breeze coming through my window and the earth awakening from its winter sleep. My mood was very erratic the past couple of weeks, some days I was so demotivated to get out of bed that I just didn't. I tried to motivate myself and make the best out of it, and I must say I did very well. I went on so many adventures and looking back to this Winter I only see the good and happy moments and blend out the days of sadness and grey clouds.

I wanted to share some tips on Winter depression:

  • I thought it might be unnecessary but I realize it makes you feel better when you take some Vitamin D supplements during the Winter months. You might not really notice the lack of Vitamin D until you take some- your mood will lighten up and your energy comes back.

  • Go outside as much as you can during the day. Enjoy the little amount of sunlight you get during the winter months when there are only around 4-5 hours of sunlight per day. Most of the people leave the house in the morning in darkness to go to work and come back in the afternoon when the sun's set already. But if you are able to go for a walk in the morning, do so! It will make you feel much more energized and motivated! And the fresh air gives you an extra amount of alertness.

  • A healthy and vitamin-packed diet helps to keep your mood balanced and energy high. Fruits, vegetables and a lot of water will help you to feel less tired and also work against the lack of energy during the darkness. St. John's word (Hypericum calycinum) is rumoured to be a herb which helps against Winter depression as well and you can add it to your tea easily. Sport and activity in general, like long walks, do also help against the Winter depression.

  • Lighten some candles and enjoy the cosy sides of the winter darkness. Make yourself a tea, wrap yourself in a comfy blanket, watch a movie, read a book or knit some socks. Winter is not only depressing, it also creates a unique homely atmosphere! A walk in the snowy fields followed by some warm porridge, soup or just a cup of hot chocolate and a hot bath or sauna will create a positive mind.

  • If you feel really depressed and demotivated in Winter and none of the tips above help you, you can also try some daylight lamps which simulates the natural daylight and makes you feel less sleepy and better tempered.

But all in all, never forget that Winter will leave at a certain point and Spring is ahead! Do not drown in Winter Depression but try to make the best out of the dark months and its beauties! I hope you all enjoyed the Winter to its fullest and are looking forward to Spring! I wish you a wonderful weekend! Lots of love to you!