FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Cold weather got you down, Fairfield County?
It's not unusual for people to feel the winter blues with the persistently severe winter weather we've been experiencing, said Nancy Millian, a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in individual psychotherapy with a private practice in Danbury and Southbury.
"In early December, my patients comment on the beauty of the first snowfall," she says. "Then the early darkness and long nights compounded with snowstorm after snowstorm begins to change the narrative and tone of their words. For some, their desire to hibernate and withdraw from friends and family is something that reoccurs every year with the seasons."
So, how can you "thaw" out and feel better? Her suggestions:
Identify and schedule in advance activities that you find pleasurable each day: Get out of the house, visit with friends, take up a winter sport, volunteer to help others or join a club.
Stay active: Go for a walk during the day. Both the daylight and the exercise, itself, help alleviate depression.
Travel: If you know you're someone who tends to feel down in the winter months, a trip someplace warm -- even for a long weekend -- is very therapeutic.
Still feeling blue? Millian suggests consulting with a mental health professional who uses Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), a type of talking therapy, who may be able to advise information on daily light therapy.
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