Winter blues are more prevalent, with most of us experiencing a shift or change in mood on darker, colder winter days. Even though you might be low-spirited than usual during these times, your ability to have a happy and fruitful day is not often hampered by winter blues. However, you may start experiencing SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) if your winter blues begin to permeate all your life aspects, i.e., from personal relations to work. By definition, SAD is a chronic depression type identified with seasonal variations. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) describes SAD as a recurrent major depression form, characterized by despair and hopelessness feelings, insomnia, fatigue, and lack of appetite. Winter blues symptoms are milder than SAD symptoms; however, that does not imply that you must ignore your dull feeling. Here are some of the tips that will help you deal with your winter blues.
Learn to lead a healthy life
If you suffer from SAD or winter blues, learning to embrace a healthy living by maintaining a consistent routine throughout the winter times will help you regulate your hormones. This can only be possible by:
- Normalizing your daily routine by maintaining a constant sleeping and waking time.
- Making sure that you eat three meals per day at the same time daily.
- Eating healthily by avoiding the urge to eat simple carbohydrates like sweet and starchy foods. Instead, eat a balanced diet that has vegetables, fruits, grains like quinoa, and proteins.
- Making plans to socialize with families and friends to help connect with them.
Staying active another major weapon against winter blues. Several types of research have revealed that exercise relates positively to mental health, especially for anxious and depressed people. That’s the reason why at most times, professionals refer to exercises as antidepressants of nature. When you engage yourself in physical exercises, your body produces endorphin and serotonin hormones that positively impact your mood.
Generally, exercises help change the serotine, a mood-regulating hormone within your brain. Besides, the exercises help provide a different pleasing environment and also helps you meet new individuals. Your GP might be capable of referring you to a particular scheme for exercises if you’re suffering from winter blues.
Getting light therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy
Since winter blues are all about darkness, it’s not surprising that its treatment involves seeking light therapy. Therefore, when feeling low during these winter times, it’s crucial to go outside very often or even sit by the window. However, why is it essential to seek light therapy? Light therapy uses sunlight with the lightboxes that mimic sunlight by using white fluorescent bulbs. This can especially be beneficial in regulating melatonin release that rises when the sun descends. For this light therapy to be an effective treatment, you will have to spend the required time staring at the lightbox daily. Also, to guarantee that you’re taking the right dose, you must follow your doctor’s orders. This will help reduce the risk as well as its side effects like headaches and agitation, making the treatment more effective.
According to a study conducted by the American Psychiatry Journal, cognitive-behavioral therapy is considered a more effective winter blues or SAD treatment than light therapy. This is because it has been proven by most scientists to be beneficial for all depression types.
Seeking medication may be another way of handling winter blues. This is often needed when the conservative treatments aren’t affording sufficient relief. Therefore, in such a case, you will need to take antidepressants, which will help regulate the imbalance in chemicals identifies with SAD and winter blues. Even though you might be capable of tapering off the tapering medication off when heading to the spring season, it’s essential to consult with your doctor before changing your prescribed dosage or medication.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional but I speak on behalf of my experience. This post may contain affiliate links