Whether you live in a time zone where you experience winter or one with tropical monsoons or other ‘adverse’ seasonal climate, they typically have similar effects on people, in that they tend to put a damper on things.
This is what we’re essentially calling “Off-seasons”.
For us, we’re currently experiencing the equivalent of a tropical monsoon, with torrid rainfall every other day, flooding and the moodiness that comes with the lack of sunshine or darker days. It’s even worse when you can see friends on social media away on holiday in places with a lot of sunshine and warm weather.
This got us thinking about how people get through off-seasons? and whether our own climate can be considered such
Have you ever wondered why you feel less energetic, depressed, reclusive, lethargic, irritable, unmotivated during off-seasons?
There’s actually a medical term for it – SAD, which stands for “Seasonal Affective Disorder”. It’s a commonly prevalent disorder which scientist have essentially normalised due to the popular seasonal patterns associated with the symptoms. Those symptoms mentioned above are apparently more prevalent during winter seasons but we’re also finding that it is also common in our own tropical climate too.
We’ve found that our awareness of the similarities in behaviour and temperament between winter and this season has really helped us figure out how to deal with temperaments/mood swings and emotional responses during this off-season.
Here are a few tips we use to get through:
#1 Live in the
Preparing for the season is essential to getting through it. Prepare your gear as well as your mind for it, so you’re not caught off guard or put off doing things.
This could range from buying weather appropriate gear that will keep you warm and/or dry, planning for activities to focus your energy and time, and committing to doing them despite the season.
If necessary, fake it till you
make feel it 😉
#2 Be active
Try and keep your routines as normal as they would be in the other seasons even if you don’t feel like it.
When we lived in countries with the winter season, we’d go for walks despite the cold or snow and it really did help reduce the symptoms associated with SAD. After walks, or bursts of activity, we felt happier, more energetic, so it’s definitely worth considering.
Maybe because we love travelling or nature in general, but there’s generally something soothing about being outside! So even if it means standing outside in the rain in wellington boots and a massive umbrella for a few minutes, we’ll do it! 😉
#3 Find people to do things with
There’s a tendency to be more introverted during such seasons. RESIST IT! Long spells of seclusion tends to aid depression.
Be intentional about the people you hang out with because moods are contagious 🙂 find someone who is social, uplifting and fun, if you’re not, for a balance.
Explore in-door activities that friends would be open to, such as:
- Cinema trips
- House parties/get-togethers/book clubs/etc
- Swimming in In-door heated pools
- In-door rock climbing
- In-door everything really lol
#4 Change your environment
We’ve read that brightening up your environment can be uplifting! So open your blinds in the daytime, sitting closer to windows or on balconies, or even artificial light are suggested to help uplift moods.
Plan weekend out-of town trips to somewhere new or interesting just for a change of scenery.
Another option albeit extreme could be to plan your professional schedule according to the seasons, so you have more time in the off-season to travel to places with more sun or schedule meetings/trainings in nice destinations so you have a bit of a reprieve during off-seasons.
#5 Eat healthier
It’s easy to start ‘eating your feelings’ during off-seasons and not working out to burn it off. So, if you are not going out as much because the weather discourages it and also not working out, chances are you’re gaining weight you don’t want, which will in turn make you upset or even depressed when the season changes for the better.
So, stick to your five-a-day and healthier diet options with the occasional cheat day but follow through with a fitness regime. Working out actually also helps with your mood. If you feel healthier, more in-shape, chances are you’ll feel happier.
*we’ve tried these tips and had better experiences despite off-seasons and hope you can too.