There’s no denying that this winter has hit all of us incredibly hard. Chicago has had record-breaking lows this winter, including the coldest February reported in over 140 years. Brr—not a record I’m particularly excited to break. Luckily, I had the opportunity to escape from some of the treacherous cold, and went on a fabulous cruise!
One of the greatest benefits of taking a vacation during the cold months of winter is the proactive affect it has on SAD. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to the changes of the seasons—beginning and ending around the same time every year. Symptoms typically start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. One of the easiest treatments for SAD is light therapy (phototherapy)!
I take this seriously and so should you. I hate feeling down in the winter months when I still have so much to accomplish and want to feel excited about it. I often go tanning to simulate the sensation of the warm sun when I am feeling my winter blues; however this time around I was actually able to escape to the Caribbean and experience the real thing.
The beautiful sun, salty ocean, refreshing breeze, endless fun, and fantastic drinks really did revive my soul. I wish I could have bottled it up and taken it home with me! However, I have to admit that the most wonderful part of the trip was the company. It was such a blessing to spend the week with my parents, who I don’t get to see as often since my move to Chicago. On top of that, I was able to spend some real quality time with my boyfriend and his family. Being in the presence of everyone getting along, and becoming closer was absolutely priceless.
I’m so incredibly thankful I was able to do some serious self-care and fight my Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. Don’t brush off that yearly feeling as a simple case of the “winter blues” or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take the steps necessary to keep your mood, motivation, and health steady throughout the year!