Each year when winter sets in, many people experience bouts of seasonal depression. At Sunset View Cemetery, we realize it doesn’t get quite as cold in the Bay Area as in other parts of the country. Still, the shorter days, decreased sunlight, and cooler temps can have a detrimental impact on the mental health of our neighbors in El Cerrito, Richmond, Albany, Oakland, and Pinole. Taking practical steps to feel better and looking ahead to spring can help ease the effects of seasonal depression.

Here are some of our team’s favorite ways to beat the winter blues:

Get moving.

When you’re struggling with seasonal depression, the last thing you feel like doing might be moving your body. Physical exercise has been proven to improve your mood and energize your entire system. Exercising outdoors is best so you can boost your intake of Vitamin D, which can help regulate your mood and reduce feelings of sadness brought on by the wintertime. Even if it’s only a quick nature walk or stroll around your neighborhood, moderate exercise can have a significant impact on your physical health and outlook on life.

Keep cozy.

One way to feel comforted when colder temperatures hit is to bundle up in your warmest sweaters and coziest blankets. Prepare a mug of hot chocolate or bake a flavorful seasonal bread or cake. Light a warming candle with a comforting scent, or take a long, warm bath. These simple indoor activities can help soothe away some of the heaviness that sets in during the early part of the year.

Be social.

When you’re feeling blue, it’s not always easy to summon the energy to meet with family and friends. Don’t feel guilty if you stay in with pizza and a movie from time to time but do your best to make an effort to spend time with those you love. Connecting with others may help lift your spirits during the dark winter months.

Spruce up your space.

Spending some time neatening your home may help you feel more optimistic about the coming spring. Getting an indoor plant can improve the air quality in your environment. Caring for a plant, even if it’s just watering it daily, can also give you a sense of purpose when you’re feeling down.

If this year’s winter months are negatively impacting your mood, remember that the seasons change, and eventually spring will come. Those who find it especially difficult to embrace a positive outlook during this time may want to consider seeking professional

help in the form a therapist or counselor. Check out our grief resources or reach out to our compassionate staff for more support.