While some people love cold days, snow and long nights, others find that they start feeling depressed during the winter months. Winter depression affects millions of people, and its symptoms include lethargy, weight gain, trouble concentrating at work and a lack of motivation. When it is severe, it is known as seasonal affective disorder. If you find yourself feeling sad and exhausted, then you may have winter depression or SAD, but there are some things you can do to help yourself feel better.
Exercise helps combat feelings of depression all year long, including during the dreary winter. It helps to regulate hormone levels and boosts the chemicals that contribute to feelings of happiness. If you find yourself feeling down or unmotivated, take a long walk, dance to some music or work out at the gym. You will feel better emotionally, and you will be doing something good for your overall health.
You may need to follow the migrating birds and take a brief trip to a sunny place. By spending a day or two enjoying sunshine and warmth, you may be able to combat the effects of winter depression so that you can get back on track and start enjoying life again.
Many people suffer from winter depression because the days are shorter and there is less sunlight, which is why scientists have created light therapy. A light therapy lamp simulates sunlight so that your body is tricked into believing that it is spending time in the sun, and you can start feeling better after spending only 20 minutes near the lamp. You can also schedule a walk outdoors while the sun is shining, and you can rearrange your room or office so that you can enjoy the natural light that streams through the windows throughout the day.
Eat a Healthy Diet
You may be tempted to reach for comfort foods when the winter blues strike, but foods that are high in carbs and sugar may cause an insulin spike that leaves you feeling even worse. To help combat winter depression, eat a healthy diet that will keep your body functioning well. You may also want to take supplements that will improve your overall health.
The winter months can be drab and dreary, and they can seem even longer when you suffer from winter depression. These tips will help you combat the winter blues so that you can focus at work, improve your health and enjoy life while you wait for spring.