How To Deal With The Winter Blues
The winter blues is a seasonal depression which many people have during those cold and gloomy winter months. It’s also known as SAD which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter blues is the milder form of SAD and for some people the symptoms can get really bad during the short winter days and the long winter nights. The typical signs of SAD or winter blues are lack of energy, sleeping longer, comfort eating obsessively, severe sadness and lack of interest. It seems the lack of natural sunlight plays a part in making people feel this way. Cloudy skies on a rainy day during the summer season can even make some people go into this low mood. But there are simple ways to deal with the winter blues and SAD which will help you to fell like yourself again.
What you'll need:
Eat more healthily. During the winter time it can be very hard to eat healthily. We can easily over eat on fatty foods that can slow us down and add excess weight. Eat less sugary or processed foods and fizzy drinks which zap your energy levels. Raise your energy levels by eating more whole grain bread, avocados, brown rice, pulses and fruits like bananas which give energy. If you just eat more fruits and vegetables it will help to lessen the sugar cravings.
Add vitamin D. Vitamin D is naturally produced in our bodies when our skin is exposed to the sun’s rays. Because there is a lack of sunshine during winter, it means our bodies can have low levels of vitamin D which can be linked to SAD. You can get vitamin D from food like eggs and oily fish like mackerel or sardines. If you are a vegan you can take vitamin D supplements or multivitamins to boost your energy levels.
Stay warm. Feeling cold can cause some people to be more depressed. Stay warm by having hot drinks and food and keep your home warm. When going out wear clothes and shoes that will keep you warm and wear a hat if you need to. You can also wear thermal clothing or underwear to stay warm outside, which you can buy from shops or online sites. Staying warm will help you to feel cosy and reduce the winter blues.
Get outside often. Dragging yourself outside can be hard to do when you’re feeling the blues. Once you are outside the natural light will change your mood and lift your spirit. Go out as often as possible during the day and go for a walk or join your nearest rambling association for a change of scene. If you are working try to go out during your lunch breaks and catch some natural light.
Exercise more. Doing some exercise will help to increase your energy levels and boost your immune system. It may be the last thing on your mind to exercise, but after you’ve done a workout you will feel so much better. Just doing 30 minutes of physical exercise a few days a week can really help when you have the winter blues or SAD. You can do some light exercise from home or the gym. But it’s better if you can do some outdoor exercise as well, because you can catch some sunlight. Taking a walk is also effective in dealing with the winter blues and you’ll be exercising as well.
Go out and socialise. It’s important to go out and spend time with other people, rather than being home alone when preventing the winter blues. Meeting up with a friend for lunch or visiting family can help to lift up your spirits. You don’t have to spend long hours outside, you just need to make an effort to socialise regularly.
Talk to a counsellor or your doctor. If your symptoms get worse and are seriously affecting your daily life, it can be helpful to talk to a counsellor or doctor. They can offer treatments or therapies to help you cope with your symptoms affectively. Your doctor or GP can also recommend anti-depressant treatments that could help you through the winter months.
The winter blues or SAD can be dealt with effectively and your winter days don’t have to be so gloomy. Hibernating less and keeping yourself busy during this season will help you cope through the winter months.
It can help to sit by the window, while reading a book for example, to catch the daylight sun.
Take up a hobby you enjoy, like photography, pottery, knitting or drawing or painting. This will help you focus on something more interesting to you.
Going away on a trip or somewhere different can also help with the winter blues.
Wearing brighter colours can help to cheer you up and painting your rooms in brighter colours can help as well.
Having flowers or plants in your home can lift your spirits.