No doubt, the fairer seasons have retreated, leaving many of us standing under leafless trees, gazing upon gloomier skies and ho-humming our way through the shorter amounts of daylight. All of which combined, can create a slight case of the winter doldrums. Throw in being a traveling nurse on assignment in an unfamiliar location and you can really feel those blues deepening.
What to do to find sunnier skies even if your new job is in Gnome, Alaska? Let’s take a look at three tips that can have you dropping the blues and singing a new song.
• Join a club: Let’s say you have a passion for reading, but lack the support of a friendly reading group, there are places that you can find that can easily remedy this literary malady. Go to your local library or independent book store, they are sure to not only accommodate you but if not, they certainly would have the knowledge of whom to contact. Book clubs are great ways to reach out, make new friends and get a foothold in your new community. Let’s say books aren’t your thing, but sports are, again look into your local recreation centers where they can direct you to a local team while meeting some new friends in the process.
• Diet: This would include eating healthy all year long, not just in the summer months when fresher food options are available. Increase your proteins like fish and chicken and supplant that carb-laden fare with portions of fruits and vegetables. Better yet, try to resist all those holiday treats that start showing up in time with the darker days. Stock up on Vitamin D in your food choices as well; with the lack of sunlight, your body will be missing this essential nutrient.
• Exercise: Even if your assignment has brought you up to the northern climes, don’t forget to factor in some physical activity. Studies have concluded that regular exercise will help fight depression, elevating your moods and thwarting off an attack of your sweet tooth. Just twenty minutes, three days a week should do the trick. And as a veteran traveler, you know all about bringing those essential exercise accouterments to your unique locales, like snowshoes, hiking boots and ice skates. There is nothing as beautiful as crunching along freshly fallen snow, the crisp air dotting a trail of breath in your wake as you witness the glorious magic of the Northern Lights, streaking in startling florescent hues across the vast blackness.
Well, there you have it; no one said winter was easy. But with these tips you should be able to shelf those blues and reach for more satisfying options, no matter what the weather outside dictates. If on the other hand, nothing seems to help lift your mood, talk with your doctor. Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) is a real medical condition that strikes mostly women and can have devastating effects. Treatments can include serotonin supplements, light therapy and even in severe cases your doctor may recommend prescription medications. Don’t wait on it though, the sooner you are up and in the land of the living, the better off you will be both physically and emotionally.