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DO Guide, Lydia Kopecky, on Getting Happy

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's that time of year again. We're all yearning for spring and yet, more snow. These lengthy, harsh winters that carry over into spring cause a lot of us to face a common consequence: SAD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to the changing of the seasons, Òsapping your energy and making you feel moody" states the Mayo Clinic. Whether it's SAD, or just the good 'ole winter blues, we must take the necessary steps to maintain our mood and motivation all year long. So here's my grand advice: GET OUTSIDE.

One of the biggest deficiencies we face in the winter is Vitamin D. Now that we're out of the teen temperatures, it's practically balmy! Layer, get outside and soak up that dose of Vitamin D along with some fresh air. For me, walking around the blocks of New York City just doesn't cut it. I need to get out there - out on the trail, surrounded by the stillness and beauty that the cold creates. And when the temperatures don't climb as quickly as I'd like, I have to stop and ask myself, ÒWhy? Why does getting outdoors help?

My why is the sound of the slowly thawing ground crunching underneath my boots, the happiness caused by exertion and sweat, along with the feeling of the brisk air on my chilled cheeks. It's the pleasure of other adventurers surrounding me and the warmth that creates. It's the breath that you can see. It's the hush hushed-ness and the feeling that you're in your own private snow globe. It's knowing that at the end of my invigorating day, I'll have a hot shower, warm drinks, and lasting memories. And always, it's the taste of adventure, even if just for a day, that being outside in the woods stirs in me.

For me, what's depressing is continuing to hole up inside. A little cold can't stop me from doing the things I love in the places I love. So I've made the commitment that cold will never stop me, even when it should be warming. I'll embrace it and find all the beautiful things to love about it so that SAD will never get me down.

And I'd be honored if you'd join me.

What will be your why?

Written by Discover Outdoors Guide, Lydia Kopecky. To learn more about Lydia and our other DO Guides, visit them here.

Categories: Adventure, People