Millions of people say they suffer from winter-related mood swings. Winter blues is a reality that can sometimes even turn into a real depression. There is tangible scientific evidence to support the idea that this season is affecting us. What are the causes, symptoms and especially how do you deal with them when you feel sad and apathetic, sleep longer and feel depressed?
Most scientists believe that winter depression is related to how the body reacts to daylight. This would be due to changes in hormone levels in the body. But not only that, many other elements contribute to this state of health which sometimes starts as early as autumn. Winter depression is thus called seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and often reaches its peak in January and February. In addition to feeling sad, here are some signs that should alert you:
• your energy is low, you sleep more than usual
• You feel demotivated, bored and less interested in your friends and the activities you usually do.
• You feel irritable, moody, and your relationships suffer.
• You eat too much, gain weight
So, what can you do to feel better again and get out of this general gloom?
Eat properly to be happier
It is important to eat well in winter when you may feel like eating fat and plenty of food. Don’t forget to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein sources and healthy fats in your diet.
Light and more light
People with winter depression often have abnormally high levels of melatonin, but light therapy can bring the concentration back to normal. Even if it is possible to follow treatments, also think about bringing as much light as possible into your house or apartment.
Another weapon against seasonal depression is staying active. Exercise helps relieve depression. The activity is therefore essential for your mental health. Outdoor activities have a double advantage: you will accumulate more light. Going out and walking for an hour in the middle of the day is an effective remedy.
Consult a psychotherapist
Light therapy can be helpful for a quick stimulation of your mood, but it is understandable that you want to feel relieved deep down. In addition to the natural remedies and if you have tried the above suggestions but still do not really feel like your usual self, consult a mental health professional. During therapy, you will learn to overcome your tendency to hibernate or challenge negative thought patterns that contribute to your discomfort.
Tackling the problem head-on
Both winter blues and depression affect women more often. These two states occur on the shortest, coldest and darkest days of the year and dissipate in the spring. It is often difficult to wait for several months. So, don’t hesitate to tackle the problem head-on!