One day in December, while I was working with a client, he came clean: "I don't like working in the winter," he confessed.
For those of us who find solitude energizing, winter is heaven's cousin: the perfect excuse to stay inside with ten great books, a lot of paper and a lot of pens; coffee's optional. For others, winter means misery. Especially for singles, the cold months can be particularly lonely and frustrating.
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If you find yourself feeling moody, argumentative, irritable or annoyed during the winter, maybe you are just S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a well-researched condition that affects many individuals between 15 and 55 years of age. Its symptoms are very similar to clinical depression, except they are triggered by the environmental changes experienced when we go from the fall season to the winter solistice.
The causes of S.A.D. are not fully understood, but effective treatments have been devised, including the use of light to counteract the seasons' decrease in sunlight. Tricks as simple as using white-light bulbs for your bedroom lamps might make a huge difference in your winter mood.
If you are single not the winter sports type, skip the white light bulbs: they won't be any help. Short of moving to Florida tomorrow, very few actions will warm up your existence. As a Latina who grew up between the Caribbean and Boston, I can say that snow and I will never ever be best friends. However, this is not a reason to stop dating or enjoying yourself for the next few months. Here are four ways to keep things moving:
1. Explore new interests. If you are not going to be outside, find ways to stay fully alive indoors. You can redecorate your place — and go all out! New colors, new paint, buy a sewing machine, learn how to make new pillows and curtains. Maybe you can start blogging or learning a new language. You can also be like my old client (now great friend), who chose to do nothing and enjoyed it.
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