The Art of Relating: Getting Past The Winter Blues

Christine Kniffen

With Christine Kniffen, MSW, LCSW
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Plenty of people experience some “blah” feelings during the winter, becoming bored and cooped up during the cold weather. They may not have full blown Seasonal Affective Disorder, but they still take a dip mentally and mood wise during the next few months. So, what can we do to help this situation? First, assess if this is the simple winter blues or something more serious. Depression is caused by an incorrect balance of neurotransmitters. It could be low serotonin, low dopamine or low norepinephrine.

There are pharmaceuticals that target these different neurotransmitters. Additionally, there are also natural supplements that work as building blocks or precursors to these various neurotransmitters to help boost supply. There are naturally pros and cons to everything, so educate yourself and find a practitioner that you trust who will work with you and hopefully, is open to many questions. However, if you find you have a more “run of the mill presentation” of the winter blues then there are some great ways to fight against it.

First of all, I can’t say enough about getting out and getting some sun, even 15 minutes a day if you can. This helps you to get vitamin D, which is found to have a correlation with depression.

Next, take some time to assess your stress level and see where you can unload some of it. Many times it seems as if we can’t get rid of stress unless we can rid ourselves of the situation or person who seems to be causing it. However, most of the time I can find ways to help clients “unload” part of their stress in many different areas and this feels like a great relief. I would simply call this good old-fashioned brain storming to come up with strategies to dump your stress.

Finally, since you are trapped inside anyway, take time to do some work towards getting what you want in your relationship. Are there things in your current relationship that bother you, but you don’t know how to bring it up or how to make it better? I can help.

Or, are you tired of cycling in and out of empty relationships and want to get off the merry-go-round? Then take this precious winter time to figure out who you are and what you personally need to feel loved and content in a relationship. Listen to my many podcasts with terrific authors about relationship issues, get my book and educate yourself on the common pitfalls in relationships and what to do about it or dive into my Relationship Coaching Workbook to understand your past patterns and pinpoint who will be able to meet your needs.

So yes, as much as many people dislike the winter, this season does provide some necessary down time to work on making yourself happier, by finally working towards getting what you want.

Christine Kniffen is a Relationship Coach and Therapist in private practice. For a free consultation call 314-374-8396. She works with clients both at her office and via SKYPE.