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March Madness

I always feel like March is kind of a drag. I mean, mentally I totally think spring should be just around the corner and in reality, every year March still physically pretty much feels like winter. I mean here we are on March 1, with new snow on the ground. And oh hey remember that the snow season in Baltimore this year started in mid-November. So yeah-we have been dealing with the realities of winter for four straight months. Don't get me wrong-I actually really love snow. But I think at this point I have had enough and I am ready to actually be able to go outside without sinking into the ground.

Winter can be tough for people, especially those already prone to symptoms of depression. NIH research shows that 6% of the US population experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and an additional 14% of the adult population suffer from "winter blues" (a more minor form of SAD). This is an average across the US, including places like Florida, where only about 1% of the adult population experience SAD, so you can imagine that percentage goes up if you're further north. So if you feel like winter is getting to you, you're not alone! Here are some ways to combat some of these symptoms for however much longer we are dealing with this cold and gray.

1. Get moving: Try adjusting your workout routine to move it indoors. If you can do an at home workout or get to the gym, chances are you'll feel a lot better.

2. Get outside: Even if it's cold, it can still be helpful to be outside, albeit for brief periods. Take a quick walk while there's still some daylight if you can. When you're inside, try to sit near a window and keep blinds and curtains open during the day.

3. Stick to your typical sleep schedule: It's tempting to sleep late (and/or go to bed earlier) when it feels like it's dark all the time. But if you can maintain your regular routine as much as possible, it will help combat low mood.

4. Implement self-care: A favorite strategy of mine. Make sure you are allowing extra time to be kind to yourself, whether that means stereotypical "me time" like a bubble bath and chocolates or whether it means using Instacart for grocery deliveries so you don't have to drag young kids out in the cold for groceries. However it looks for you-be kind to yourself.

Hang tight-the first day of spring is less than 3 weeks away!

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