My mother asked me to say something about this, so I guess, this one is for you mom!
It started with somebody that my mom knows complaining about how she felt depressed in March. I told her that it was common to be more depressed in March and she started to take note of everyone who felt more sad or more tired in March. She then promptly told them not to worry because her daughter said that it was normal to feel that way at this time of the year! And everyone was relieved and lived happily ever after…. not quite!
So, what is going on? With the increase in sadness, not with my mother (because that is a whole other story).
There could be a few reasons why people feel more “down” in March and for people who have clinical depression, they may experience a dip in their moods or a full blown relapse.
Now I am in the Southern hemisphere, so the easy answer is that we are heading into winter. The days are shorter, there is less light and the heady days of summer (and the memories of summer vacation) are long over.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real and some people do get more depressed or only get depressed with the change of season and with less exposure to light.
Another reason, in my opinion is that we have almost completed a quarter of the year (hard to believe isn’t it?). Most people are quite optimistic at the start of the new year. Filled with ideas of changes that you are going to make, things that you are going to do, goals that you are going to achieve. And then for most people, March or April rolls in and you are still doing the same things, stuck in the same place, nothing really new and exciting happening and the end of year is a long, long way to go still.
Is there a cure? Not really (I know, wrong answer!). If you really do have Seasonal Affective Disorder, you can get light therapy which reportedly works very well. Have a look what Mayo Clinic has to say about light therapy here.
If you have depression, it is something to just be aware of and try to do the best that you can to prevent a relapse – you may need to speak to your doctor about this. Most importantly, you should do something about it before your symptoms get out of control.
For the rest of us, there is no reason why we need to allow our moods to control us. We are heading for Easter holidays, so if you can, take the opportunity to get away or do something new and exciting in your city.
You don’t need to dress all dreary because the weather is colder. Add some bright colours to your usual winter darks. It was this little bit of inspiration that made me buy a pair of pink boots when I was shopping for black!
Bring flowers into your house. Think of long nights with movies under the duvet and mugs of creamy hot chocolate.
Heat a cup of milk and ¼ cup of cream in a saucepan on a low temperature, add a few blocks of your favourite dark or milk chocolate and stir until melted. Pour into a cup and top with cinnamon or chilli
Spice up your life by making your food more exciting.
You can do this!
(And for those of you in the Northern hemisphere who are looking forward to Spring and summer – enjoy! And file this away for later)