The cold season is upon us and you know what that means! Pumpkins! Snow! And Seasonal Affective Disorder…

It’s estimated that 10 million Americans suffer from SAD and another 10 – 20% suffer from mild SAD. That’s a lot of sad.

And this year, with many of us limiting our time with friends and family, we’re bound to see even more cases of the winter blues cropping up, over the coming months.

So let’s talk about a few ways we can get a jump on seasonal depression and keep ourselves feeling as normal as possible, as we move into a COVID-19 winter.

Wear Bright Clothes

It may seem silly, but the act of surrounding yourself with bright colours actually can help enhance your mood. 

I won’t get too deep into the science of it all, but basically, there’s a visual pathway to the hypothalamus through the eye. The hypothalamus is believed to be involved in Seasonal Affective Disorder. This pathway shows a sensitivity to short wavelength light and colours, indicating that there may be a physiological connection between colour and mood.

Crazy, right? I bet you never thought those neon, spandex leggings would make a comeback. But you might want to pull them out of the back of your closet!

Pick A Fun Bubble

Community can be an effective way to keep you feeling seen, supported and happy. Unfortunately, our community is going to be slightly more pared down this year.

When choosing who you’ll be cozying up with this winter, make sure they’re someone you can share a laugh with and who makes you feel good about yourself.

One study shows that depression can actually be contagious when our social environments are influx (which is the understatement of 2020), so surrounding yourself with a more positive friend group can keep you feeling more stable.

Decorate & Celebrate

There’s a reason we have so many holidays in the winter. To keep us going!

SAD isn’t a new thing. The pagans created many of our winter traditions to stave off depression and madness, in the dark cold months.

So do as the pagans do and GET INTO IT!

Decorate your place for the various holidays, put up lights, make the wreaths, do up the tree, carve the gourds. Get festive!

Having something to celebrate and get excited about keeps you feeling hopeful and happy.

Eat Comfort Foods 

As the cold rolls in, the meals get heartier and I’m not complaining.

Fill your belly with foods that feel comforting. Soups, pastas, stew and all the carbs. It’s time to break out the slow cooker your mom bought you 3 christmases ago, fill it with root vegetables and go to town.

Stock Up On ‘The Essentials’

I don’t know what your essentials are, but ours definitely include CBD & THC.

CBD and THC have both been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and symptoms of depression, making it the perfect winter companion.

No matter how you take yours; pill, drops, balm or lubricant; make sure you’re stocked up and ready for the cold months. And speaking of lubricant…

Have Some Sex

Not only is it a great way to stay warm, having sex can give your serotonin levels a little boost and leave you with a warm, winter orgasmic glow.

Whether you have a partner or it’s a solo endeavour, a little self pleasure can lower anxiety levels, enhance your mood and keep your circulation flowing. Which all sounds like a bonus to us!

However you choose to fight off the blues, just remember that everyone feels a little down in the dark months. You’re not alone. If it ever feels like too much, reach out to a trusted friend, family member or healthcare professional or call one of these hotlines to speak with someone: 

Canada: 1-833-456-4566

US: 1-800-273-8255

Jennifer Doan is a sex educator, coach and the host of the podcast Taking Back Slut. Jennifer is committed to helping people connect to their sexual power in a way that feels safe and comfortable to them. Connect with her on Instagram @jenn_doan for sex rants and unapologetic nudes.