Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is depression and anxiety occurring around the winter months, most often affecting those in colder climates where there is less sunlight. Although it usually affects those in colder areas, with so much uncertainty in our world right now, feelings of seasonal fatigue and winter blues can still affect the rest of the population. On top of that, stress from work can lead to burnout and uneasy feelings. To combat these emotions, here are a few activities you can try to help lift your mood and spirits.
1. Movement and Mindfulness Jar
Though it’s not always easy to be productive when you’re feeling low, getting up and moving your body can have a positive effect on your mood and overall mental health. For this activity, print out the activity ideas and cut them out. Add your own ideas on ways you like to add movement or mindfulness into your day on the blank cards on the sheet. Once you’ve got your cards ready, add them to a jar.
Whenever you’re feeling low, pick an activity from the jar to get yourself moving. Or, make it a habit to do one activity each day. For example, starting your morning off with a 30-minute walk or trying out a new yoga routine can be just what you need to overcome those seasonal blues. Make sure you’re bundled up and wearing a good pair of workout leggings so you’re warm and comfortable during your workout.
2. Monthly Mood Tracker
Keeping track of your mood each month can help you determine which activities cause certain emotions and feelings to manifest within you. Knowing what triggers your low mood can help you figure out what you need to do more of to help your mood stay balanced. Print out the mood tracker, choose and color for each mood, and color in the corresponding boxes to use as your key. For example, pink for happy, joyful, and relaxed, or red for depressed, sad and anxious.
Each morning, check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling, and at the end of the day, do another check to see if you feel more energized. Keep note of what elevated your mood, what helps keep you balanced, and what triggers stressful feelings on the reflection page.
3. Affirmation Coloring Page
Who doesn’t love to color? Even as an adult, coloring can bring a lot of joy to our day, while also helping ease our minds. This coloring page has a box for you to write an affirmation or intention for the day. Write the affirmation first before starting, then allow your mind to peacefully wander as you begin to color.
You can download all three activities here.
We don’t always feel our best each day and that’s okay. But, incorporating movement, mindfulness, and positive thoughts into our day can help us beat those winter blues.