If you live in a changing climate you can legitimately develop what's known as seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year and affects many people.
It can make it difficult to get motivated to keep up with your daily routine such as work, social gatherings and especially hitting the gym.
Signs of SAD include:
- Feeling depressed almost every day
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Having low energy
- Having problems with sleeping
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, first off know you are not alone and there are things you can do to help curb this disorder. You may need to see your doctor and perhaps get medication or light therapy (literally therapy that mimics sunlight). Reaching out to friends and being social can help to beat the blues. Doing things outside your normal routine like taking a cooking class, a salsa lesson or even planning a trip can all help in breaking up the monotony during the long winter months. Working out in general is always a good idea as getting the heart rate up and breaking a sweat usually increases our natural dopamine levels and helps decrease cortisol levels. So no matter how much of a struggle it can feel like to get to the gym, try to motivate yourself by thinking about how good you will feel afterwards.