Stable Connections Barn Blog

Follow the latest news and happenings at Stable Connections Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies, serving the communities of northern New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Winter Blues (Are Real)

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During the fall and winter months, it is not uncommon for people to start to talk about experiencing cabin fever and the winter blues. What is the winter blues you might ask? Not to be confused with Seasonal Affective Disorder, the winter blues is that tired, cooped up feeling a person gets in the fall and winter months. Most people begin feeling the winter blues due to longer darker days and cold weather which often leads to people spending more time isolated in their homes.

For most people, the winter blues is something that will dissipate with time and does not have any major impact on their daily lives. However, for others the winter blues can develop into Seasonal Affective Disorder, resulting in symptoms such as: feeling sad, hopeless, or empty; a lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy; weight loss or gain; sleeping too much or not sleeping enough; and a general feeling of fatigue.

Similar to the winter blues, these symptoms tend to decrease or disappear in the spring and summer months but can become so severe in the winter that it can affect relationships, a person’s ability to complete typical activities of daily living, and also affect a person’s ability to function at work or in school.

If you or your loved one feels like you might be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, please reach out to your medical provider or seek support from a mental health professional. Luckily, there are some things everyone can do to help combat both the winter blues, and potentially Seasonal Affective Disorder.

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  • Spend time outside: Embrace the winter months by finding an outdoor activity you enjoy. Being out in nature, getting fresh air, and spending as much time in the sunlight as possible helps to increase endorphins, decrease stress, and takes away that sense of feeling cooped up and trapped.
  • Find an indoor hobby to enjoy: For those winter days that are too cold or blustery to go out or for those of you who are not outdoor people, find a hobby to focus on that you can do inside. This will give you something enjoyable to do that might give you a sense of purpose.
  • Add exercise into your day: 30 minutes to an hour of exercise each day has been proven to decrease stress, improve sleep, and increase energy levels.
  • Talk to your doctor about Vitamin D: It is not uncommon for people to have low levels of Vitamin D, which can contribute to increased feelings of depression, fatigue, muscle pain and soreness. You can get Vitamin D through sunlight and eating Vitamin D rich foods such as fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, and milk.
  • Invest in a light box: Due to the decrease in sunlight during the winter months, we often are not getting the amount of sunlight and Vitamin D we need. Sitting in front of a light box at least 30 minutes a day can increase energy and focus and improve sleep.
  • Don’t forget to socialize: In the winter people can have the tendency to spend more time isolated in their homes, contributing to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Find activities out in the community, look at volunteering or schedule regular games night or potlucks with friends and family.
  • Keep a healthy sleep routine: Due to the days being darker longer, the sleep routine of some people can get off track. It is important to try to set up a healthy sleep routine where you go to sleep at the same time most evenings and wake up around the same time each morning, aiming to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Create a healthy eating routine: Having a healthy eating routine focused on eating a balanced diet can help maximize digestive health while also supporting increased energy, focus, brain health, and mood.
  • Complete indoor projects you have been putting off: Take a break from screens to focus on those projects you might have been putting off. Simply cleaning and organizing your space can create feelings of accomplishment, give you a sense of control, and help to clean up your mindset.
  • Embrace winter and learn to enjoy being home: Use the winter time to slow down, get cozy, find ways to reflect and meditate, listen to motivational podcasts, and journal. Instead of dreading the winter weather and idea of spending more time at home, find ways to enjoy it and change your mindset around it.
The team at Stable Connections has created a “Beat the Winter Blues” gift basket that is filled with yummy treats and a gift card from Polish Princess in Lancaster, NH. Share it with friends at game night or an outdoor outing!

Raffle tickets are six chances for $5 or twenty-five chances for $20. The winner will be announced live on Facebook on March 10th at 5 PM.

Donations can be made on our website, in person or by mail.

Good Luck!
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Karen Guile-Caron
CEO & Founder

2494 Route 102, Guildhall, VT
(802) 522-3048
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Stable Connections is a tax-exempt organization under the 501(c)(3) section of the IRS.
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