How do I get rid of seasonal depression? I fall into a funk as soon as the weather gets warmer, and I should be happy.
—Warm Weather Blues, New York, NY
First, please try to avoid the "tyranny of the shoulds," a concept first described by German psychoanalyst Karen Horney. When you say that you "should" be or do something, you're focusing on an ideal version of yourself that doesn't measure up to reality. Instead, concentrate on working toward your goal realistically, not berating yourself for not achieving it yet.
But is it true that the warmer weather can get you down? For some people, yes. Many of those who live in the northern hemisphere feel their best during springtime, as the added daylight stimulates a heady cocktail of hormones. But for others, serotonin, the "happiness hormone," can become depleted during the winter months. That means by the time the weather improves, they might experience symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, headaches, achy joints, lack of drive and irritability.
If this sounds like you, try these tips: Make a point to connect with friends and, if needed, reach out for professional help. Eat a balanced diet (reducing any nicotine, alcohol and caffeine consumption), stay sufficiently hydrated, and practice good sleep habits in a cool, dark room away from stimulating activities. Outside of dance, make time for hobbies that enrich you while relieving stress.