Winter Blues

It was January. My husband and I had left sunny California and moved all the way across the country to D.C. The days were heavy. Gray. Cold. I was homesick. I was struggling to build a new career. And then I had a miscarriage. It was one of the worst winters of my life.

That was three years ago. I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at handling D.C. winters and my seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but I wonder. The other day, my alarm went off and I looked at the pile by my bed: yoga pants, running shoes, a warm pullover, mittens, and a hat. I knew it was important to walk outside to get my blood pumping and soak up some UV rays (they penetrate clouds). But I couldn’t bring myself to leave my warm bed. I decided to postpone the walk. Later that afternoon, I tried to talk myself into going outside, just for 20 short minutes. Instead, I crawled under the covers. Two hours later, I finally found the energy to bundle up and go. I wasn’t outside for more than 10 seconds before I turned around. The wind was brutal. The gray sky oppressive. Ugh. Winter.

There are certain aspects of winter I like. Sparkly snow. Christmas music. Sipping cocoa by a roaring fire. But usually, I high tail it outta D.C. in February. This year, I have a trip lined up starting in January. One of the best cures for SAD is a sunny vacation. In the meantime, here are some holistic remedies I’ll use to keep my spirits up: Vitamin D supplements, homemade veggie soups and fresh hot teas, essential oils with uplifting scents, SAD light boxes, and outdoor walks (on days I can brave the cold). You can read more detailed information about these therapies here.

What do you do to lift your spirits during the cold, dark days of winter?

About Jenny Rough

Jenny Rough is a lawyer-turned-writer. Visit her on the web at

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