Is it just me or are the dark, gray, gloomy days of winter starting to feel really really dismal? Growing up in the Seattle area I am fairly used to long stretches of overcast skies yet, they still make me feel
a little quite melancholy. In fact, I find myself so used to dreary, rainy days that when the sun does shine on a rare occasion before June or July, I enter a vitamin d deficient panic! I feel so guilty if I can’t or don’t spend every free moment out in the fresh air and sunshine, and the sense of impending doom looms over me. I dread the sun setting, and worry it will be far too long before I feel it’s glorious warm rays on my face again (neurotic much?). Consequently I’ve spent my life thus far searching for ways to add a little bit more sunshine to my life, even through long stretches of sunless days. I’ve come up with five sure fire ways to combat the rainy day blues.
1. Fresh Flowers!
I can’t even really express how much fresh flowers brighten up a room. Bright blooms are a reminder of the sunny days spring has in store. My favorites are tulips and peonies but even carnations will do. Okay, that is a lie, carnations will not do. You can use practically any flower besides carnations to brighten up your living space and bring a little bit of happiness to gloomy gray days.
2. Natural Light!
I’ll be the first to admit that sunshine streaming in through the windows is a game changer when it comes to my attitude for the day. While cloudy overcast skies aren’t nearly as hopeful as those cloudless blue days the natural light is still helpful! If your dorm/apartment/house/whatever is dark/lacks windows/natural light find another place to work when possible. My apartment has lots of windows and I am constantly pulling open the blinds to let the light in. The natural light drastically improves my happiness and productivity.
3. Vitamin D!
Many people are affected by seasonal depression as a result of a vitamin d deficiency. Since vitamin d is absorbed through sunlight it is very likely that those of us in dark rainy areas are lacking the vitamin d we need. Luckily, you don’t have to skip sunscreen or sabotage your skin in a tanning bed to feel happy again. Vitamin d supplements can be found at pretty much any pharmacy and many grocery stores. Of course before beginning any supplements it is important to consult your doctor/do your own research.
4. Get outside!
The idea of taking a walk in the pouring rain is some people’s idea of romantic. All things considered, it is my idea of a soggy, depressing mess. However, I can’t stress enough the affect a little fresh air and outdoor time can have on your outlook. When it isn’t raining I try to get outside even if it is just for a few minutes. I have discovered a short run or walk outside (even when it is cold) can really help me recognize the beauty of the world (even on dark days).
As Elle Woods would remind us, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t”. Endorphins are pretty sweet if you ask me. If you’re feeling sad due to the lack of sunlight find happiness from another healthy source. Finding the motivation to go on a run or hit the gym can be difficult, but it is ALWAYS worth it in the end. Not only will you feel happier now but you’ll be happier in the future when you are healthier and look super hot in your bikini at the beach. It’s really a win-win-win all around.
Do you get depressed in the winter? How do you replace the sunlight during what feels like endless days of gray?
P.S. Do you like J.Crew? Do you like free money to spend at J.Crew? Enter Jackie’s fabulous giveaway at Jade and Oak for a chance to win $150 to spend on cute new clothes for Spring break! I mean…a shopping spree obviously brightens up any gray day!