A Quick Guide to Beating the Winter Blues
Now that the holidays are over, you might start to feel it — a little down, a little drained. It gets harder to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. You feel the pull of the couch in the middle of the day (um, more strongly than usual). You don’t have your usual energy, and you may find yourself feeling a little sad, a little blue. Or maybe it hasn’t really hit you yet. Maybe it won’t be until later in the season when the darkness of the winter really sets in; it can start to feel like winter will never fade, and spring might never come. If this sounds familiar, you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (abbreviated as "SAD," appropriately enough), or from the "Winter Blues," a less severe form of the disorder.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
People who suffer from SAD find themselves fighting low energy, lack of enthusiasm, and depressed mood during the winter months when sunlight is minimal. (If your financial and vacation budgets allow, it can be great to take a week or a weekend and get away to someplace tropical.) Pssst...a quick trip isn't really a solution to the problem, awesome as it may be. And even if that is in your plan for the coldest months of the year, you can also get some relief just from picking up a coloring book and a pack of your favorite markers. Oh, hey! I know where you can get some of those!
What can I do about Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The most typical treatment for SAD is light exposure therapy. Many people find that exposure to extra sunlight--or a special solar lamp--each day makes them feel a lot better. Even better than that: combining light therapy with color therapy can enhance those positive effects. Woo hoo! Jazz hands!
The study of how color affects mood is nothing new. Chances are that you don't need to look any further than your own experiences to see that the colors you surround yourself with can impact how you feel. Have you ever felt happier or more uplifted walking into a room furnished in cheery yellow? Or calm and peaceful snuggled up in a bedroom with blue walls? We associate red with the fire of anger or love, green with the quiet of nature, orange with the zest of energy. And there's science behind these feelings and observations, too. As an avid coloring enthusiast, you channel those emotions when you create a composition--whether you know it or not. (Go back and take a look at your work at times you know you felt energetic or calm. Do you see any kind of pattern in the color palettes you chose? Surprise!)
The Best Ways to Beat the BluesIf you're suffering from SAD or the Winter Blues, we've got some ideas to help.
- Stay curled up by your therapy light. Just 15 minutes each morning will boost your energy and your mood. If you can, get out into whatever sunshine you can find at various points throughout the day.
- Become a pill popper! Of the Vitamin D variety. Your body needs Vitamin D to keep your bones healthy, help your gut absorb calcium, and approximately 4567845131472 other functions.
- Eat some chocolate. Okay, if you insist.
- Color! Taking a break to be creative and centered is a HUGE mood booster. Research says that time spent coloring -- under any circumstances -- can be psychologically beneficial. Beyond that, composing a picture in the blue light spectrum is said to be the most therapeutic for people suffering from SAD. And surrounding yourself with cheery, bright, vibrant colors -- such as vivid, saturated yellows, oranges, and violets -- can have the strongest benefit in terms of mood elevation.
- Enjoy our Bye Bye Winter Blues Inspo Pics right here in this post! We've created these fabulous color palettes just for you. Print them out, tape them up, and use them in your coloring. Or use them to pick the clothes that will enhance your mood, chill you out, or give you the energy you need to complete your current work or school project.
Aaaaah, I feel more peaceful already
What about you? Do you suffer from SAD or the Winter Blues? Have you found coloring to help with the symptoms? Which colors or subjects work best for you? Send us your favorite ideas and inspirations!
Tag us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter with #collegecoloringbooks, comment below, or send us an email; we'll include our favorite ideas in a future blog post. We can't wait to hear from you!