Beating the late winter blues

26.03.2012 | By Oles Dudka

A handy and simple guide to staying focused on spring

There might be a change in the air in Kyiv, promising a glorious spring just around the corner, but the streets and parks about the city are telling a story of a long and filthy winter. The sight of mud, rotting foliage, and decaying litter accumulated over months, however, can darken even the brightest anticipatory mood


Add this disorienting contrast to the vitamin deficiency often suffered during the winter months and you have a recipe for melancholy, a very real and dangerous condition. Fortunately, we at Kyiv Weekly have cobbled together a list of easy ways to overcome the situation and put yourself in a good mood for the season of love. We chose seven, just to be on the safe side.

PH: shutterstock

1. Eat chocolate. This is not an advertisement. Studies have shown that the consumption of a modest amount of real chocolate (not the so-called white chocolate, which is fat) on a regular basis can improve even the worst mood;

2. Move around. Lethargy can aggravate a dispirited mind, and since statistics have shown that winter is the laziest season, the late cold period can bring on the greatest atrophy of the muscles. Since bad weather is no longer an excuse for staying indoors, a simple walk around the block can be the beginning of a revitalized exercise regimen;

3. Buy something. Christmas is long passed while St. Valentines Day came and went, so other than a birthday, there is not much to look forward to in the gift department for a long time. Therefore, purchasing a small gift for oneself is an easy distraction from sad thoughts. If that gift is chocolate or a gym membership, then all the better;

4. Immerse in sweet smells. Ancient knowledge prescribes any number of fragrances to cure any number of ailments, and in the modern world scientists have discovered that sweet vanilla and coconut essences go a long way towards treating depression, or melancholy;

5. Listen to music. Everyone has a favorite tune that reminds him or her of happier times, and if they dont, they should. But if that doesnt work, then play a sad song. As odd as it might sound (!), a number of Western schools of psychology argue that crying brought on by listening to sad songs releases negative energy and accumulated soul depression. In other words, it might be better for the sake of spring to cry for no reason than to weep as a result of personal trauma. One report discovered that 98% of girls feel much better after crying while listening to sad songs;

6. Smile for no reason. Simply stretching face muscles creates a happy muscular memory that will positively affect the mood. There is no reason to restrict smiling to feelings of joy;

7. Do art. Many masterpieces were created during a state of depression, so why not take a stab at being the next Christopher Marlowe? Also, the act of creating is not only distracting, it is also emotionally stimulating.

Good luck out there!

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