Hawaii is truly beautiful year-round. While living in the islands, you probably saw the average daily high in the 80s during winter and summer alike.
But if you’re moving to the mainland, you may end up in a northern temperate climate where you’ll have four distinct seasons with a wide range of temperatures. Starting in the fall, you’ll see a lot less daylight and will have to bundle up when you leave the house.
Hopefully, you’ll make this transition easily. However, if you have trouble staying cheerful when it’s freezing outside and you never see the sun, you’re not alone. Learn how to take care of yourself in your new climate.
1. Know If You Have Seasonal Affective Disorder
Many people feel a little blue in the winter, but some people find that the season makes them truly depressed. This condition is called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and it can be treated. The symptoms include:
- Low energy or exhaustion
- Sleeping too much
- Changes in appetite, especially craving carbohydrate-rich foods
- Weight gain
- Feeling more emotionally sensitive (for example, being easily upset by those around you)
After you move and experience a mainland winter, pay attention to your emotions. If you notice these symptoms, go to a doctor for an evaluation, especially if you feel sad, hopeless, or worthless for many days at a time. Depression, including seasonal affective disorder, is treatable, so you can feel better with the right help.
If you don’t have seasonal affective disorder but still feel a little blue during the winter, the following tips should lift your spirits. Even if you do have SAD, these tips can help you when combined with the treatment your doctor recommends.
2. Light Up Your Life
One of the biggest reasons people feel down in the winter is the lack of sunlight. To counter this problem, try to get more light during your day. If you want cheap, easy solutions, go outside more during daylight hours, even if it’s cold. Keep your blinds or curtains open during the day as well.
If you’d like a more powerful option, consider a sun lamp or a light box. These devices are specifically for people who have SAD or similar symptoms. The light is very similar to sunlight, and the effects can be as good for your mood as antidepressant medication. Just sit close to it for about 30 minutes each morning.
Exercise is a great way to improve your mood any time of the year. Working out releases chemicals called endorphins into your bloodstream, which produce a natural high. During the winter, you need that mood boost even more, especially if the cold keeps you sitting on the couch instead of walking, jogging, or even surfing outside like you would in Hawaii.
You can still exercise outside when it’s cold — a quick jog will warm you up fast. However, if you prefer to stay warm from the start, look into joining a gym or doing exercise videos in your living room. No matter what your preferred exercise method is, find a way to stay active.
4. Stay Connected
If you just moved, you might be isolated from those around you since you haven’t had a chance to meet anyone. Being lonely can certainly contribute to feelings of sadness, but reaching out will lift your spirits.
Keep in touch with those you left behind through phone calls, emails, and video chats. However, make sure to also look for friends in your new home. You can form friendships at work, church, hobby groups, or any other place where you meet other people. Though making friends is often slow and difficult, the effort will pay off and you’ll start feeling happier.
5. Do What Makes You Happy
Sometimes when you feel down or sad, self-care is a powerful tool that can refresh your spirits. Do what makes you feel genuinely better, such as listening to music you love, pursuing your hobbies, taking a hot bath, slowly eating a favorite food, or lighting a scented candle. Whatever you choose, focus on that specific item or activity, giving it your full attention.
Generally, it’s better to consciously choose and focus on an activity than to try to numb your emotions. For example, watching a movie you’ve been meaning to see for a long time may help you feel more like yourself, but binge-watching a show you don’t care about for hours may leave you feeling even more lethargic than when you started. You know yourself better than anyone — choose what you know will make you happy.
After your time in Hawaii, your move to the mainland can be jarring, especially during the winter. However, it is survivable, and with some adjustments, you can thrive in your new home. Remember to take care of yourself during this coming winter, and you’ll do fine.
If you need help with your relocation from Hawaii to the mainland, contact Island Movers. We’re a full-service moving company, and we can meet your every need during this transition.