Wellness Tips to Help You Get Rid of Your Winter Blues
Winters can be a tough season not just for our body but also for our mental health. The sun rises later than usual in the winter months, and it sets earlier. This deprives many people of getting proper sunlight. Their time indoors usually outweighs their time outdoors. Living and working in the dark has adverse effects on health, even if you are a person who has no prior mental health issues.
These shorter days and less exposure to sunlight can lead to mood changes, such as feeling sad or more down than usual. These mood swings that make you feel lethargic and overall down, or more unhappy, are termed Winter Blues. The medical name for this winter depression is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a severe form of winter blues. It’s a form of depression caused by changes in seasons. Winter may cause winter-onset SAD.
Common symptoms of winter blues
Here are some symptoms to help you detect your winter blues:
- Feeling depressed
- Feeling hopeless
- Trouble sleeping, insomnia, or oversleeping
- Change in appetite or weight
- Difficulty concentrating
- Drawing away from tasks or activities you once enjoyed
- Having low energy
- Feeling agitated
- Having frequent thoughts of self or suicide
- Lack of motivation to do daily tasks or get out of bed
- Drawing away from your circle or social interactions
- Spending two or more days in bed
These symptoms often resolve with the arrival of the spring and summer months.
Tips to help beat the winter blues
Winter blues can affect all aspects of your life, from work to personal relationships. Here are a few tips to help you beat this:
Soak in the sunlight
Sunlight therapy is considered the first step to help you cope with winter blues. Sunlight contains an unlimited source of Vitamin D, which is essential for circadian rhythm regulations and can boost your energy level, which subsequently lifts your mood.
Sit in the sun and give yourself every opportunity to soak in that morning sunlight. You can place your exercise equipment near a window, go out for daily walks or buy yourself a cup of coffee. You can also move your work desk near a window. Being in the sunlight also helps your body balance the serotonin activity and increases melatonin production, improving your emotional state.
If you cannot find relief from low-level interventions, you can sign yourself up for light therapy. In this form of treatment, the patient is settled in front of a lightbox for 20 to 60 minutes, giving out nearly 10,000 lux of light. Doctors recommend this procedure to be done in early fall until spring.
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet that hits all the checkpoints in your diet chart can promote better health and a better mood for the day. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and freshly produced organic food products can boost your energy levels and help you get out of your bed. Try eating foods rich in Vitamin D, such as fish, eggs, and mushrooms, and add more nutritious vegetables such as broccoli, kale, carrots.
Physical activities and exercise have been proven to have miraculous effects on your overall health. Exercise can make you feel good about yourself by optimizing your physical condition, thus helping you beat the winter blues.
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