Do you know that about half of the people living in the NYC area experience a wintertime dip? I was one of them. Before I learned how to keep the winter blues at bay, the winter months were hard for me. I felt sluggish and sleepy. I craved chocolates and starchy foods. I struggled to solve problems and to get things done that were easy to do the rest of the year.
As a psychotherapist, I learned about the phenomenon of the “winter blues” and the more debilitating “seasonal affective disorder.” Like many of us who have suffered with the winter blues, I related to the stories told by other winter blues sufferers. And I felt heartened to learn about the scientific studies that identified the phenomenon of the winter blues, determined what causes the winter blues, and, most important, what can be done about it. I learned that, among other things, exposure to daylight, even on a cloudy day, could help me to feel more energetic and alert, mentally sharp, productive, creative and content.
For a time, getting out and about during the daytime hours worked for me. More recently I’ve had to make some additional adjustments. I use a couple of devices: a light box and a dawn simulator. And I’ve made some other changes: I’m more diligent about getting regular aerobic exercise, and I attend carefully to my eating and sleep and patterns.
I’ve learned what works to keep the winter blues away, and I’m eager to spread the word! I’ve created this space to get the word out about the winter blues – to tell you how to figure out if you’ve got the winter blues and, if so, what you can do about it.
There are two things I want you to know.
First of all: the winter blues is real. It’s a real, biological phenomenon. It won’t work to “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” or “snap out of it.”
Secondly, and most important: there are effective ways to beat the winter blues. For most people, those methods don’t involve medications, and they generally don’t cost much, either. This website and other books and websites I will tell you about are filled with lots of self-help approaches to beating the winter blues. Many people will be helped by these approaches. But if you are not, or if your winter blues symptoms are debilitating or causing you to despair, please reach out for professional help. A trained professional like myself can provide guidance about effective approaches beyond the self-help methods.
With the many well-researched treatments available, there is no reason to suffer with the winter blues.