Beating the Winter Blues in Trieste

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Illustration by Olha Polonska
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Words: Sai Joshi

Illustration: Olha Polonska

Winter! On the one hand it is the most cherished, festive season in Europe, while on the other hand it is about long, dark and chilly nights. I am personally not the biggest fan of this season. It feels like someone is sucking the motivation out of my life and all I want to do is lay in my bed for days.  Colder weather significantly affects our moods and state of mental wellbeing. In 7 years of my practice as a psychotherapist, I have observed a considerable rise in feelings of sadness and depression around the winter months every year. Some of my clients say, “there is an unreasonable sadness in the air”. 

Winters can cause a lack of motivation to get out of bed, sadness, fatigue, sleep deprivation and depression, commonly known as winter blues. It is especially difficult to get used to weather  conditions in Europe for expats coming from the asian countries, like myself. We are also used to crowds and being around people all the time. Sudden empty streets and less human contact gives us a feeling of mourning. Winter sadness is not just common in Europeans but expats are more prone to experiencing the winter blues.

All in all, winter blues is just lack of sunlight and vitamin D deficiency. The rest is just our perception, however just being aware of it is not enough. We also need to take preventive as well as curative measures for the seasonal disorders.

Here are a few simple steps to beat the winter blues:

  1. Get your regular dose of sunlight: Trieste is blessed with ample sunlight even on the shortest winter days and it is possible to consume enough of it. Start your day with 15-20 minutes of sun exposure.
  2. Make your food vitamin D rich: Conscious intake of foods that are rich sources of vitamin D such as fatty fish, fish oil, milk, orange juice, breakfast cereal, and yogurt can reduce the risk of depression.
  • Visit a solarium or sauna:  Solarium and sauna experiences are worth a try on cold, winter days. The city of Trieste offers various options like Baan Thai, Centro Benessere, Estetica Aphrodite, and Fisicamente right downtown. 
  • Warm up with friends: Catching up with your close friends and family should be a definite thing on your winter agenda. The warmth of close relationships can help you keep winter blues at bay.
  • Regulate sleep schedule: Sleep quality can significantly hamper or enhance your moods and hence having a good sleep routine is a must, especially in winter. Keep your bed time fixed and follow the same routine. Take a warm shower just before going to bed to induce good sleep.
  • Use your personal mood uplifters: If you like to get dressed up and go out clubbing, do it. If you love to wear your pajamas and cuddle in bed, do it. Choose your personal favorite thing to lift your spirits.

 Keep moving: Trieste provides you with a scenic route for running, jogging or cycling along the Barcola beach. One ride a day is a must to keep your physical and mental health balanced

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Sai Joshi
I was born and raised in India, and I moved to Trieste in Jan 2022 after my wedding - it was love at first sight (in both cases)! Trieste chose us to be here, and I am more than happy to start my married life in the fairytale city of Trieste. I am also a psychologist, author, and an avid traveler with a PhD in adolescent psychology. Back in India, I ran a mental health care firm named Ayuda Mind Care. My expertise lies in curating personalized mind care routine and self-help journals. I ended up writing a book called “Humanology: The secret of human nature” during lockdown. Travelling to places and exploring profound layers of human nature is therapeutic for me. I can’t imagine my life without my work and coffee, maybe that’s why I landed in Trieste! You can find me on www.ayudamindcare.com

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