It is supposed to be the happiest season of the year, yet you may find it hard to shake your “winter blues”. You are not alone. Many people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Wintertime is a joyous time for many, but for others, the coldness and darkness brings on a temporary bout of depression. It can be a very serious thing for some individuals. If you are suffering from the “winter blues” there are a few things you can do to lighten up your mood. Of course, with any signs of depression, you should see a doctor or psychiatrist for treatment or therapy. These quick tips are meant to help but not replace medical advice.
Up the Vitamin D:
Vitamin D offers many benefits to the body, such as helping the absorption of calcium, maintaining a healthy immune system, creating new cell growth, and reducing inflammation. The best source of Vitamin D is direct sunlight. However, in the winter months, time spent in direct sunlight may be hard to find. Individuals can take a Vitamin D supplement, but if you can absorb the vitamin through food, it may have a better absorption rate. The best sources of Vitamin D in foods are egg yolks, cheese, and beef liver.
Will Light Therapy Work?
Light therapy uses a special, bright lamp that stimulates sunlight. Using this lamp will help individuals get more Vitamin D while also decreasing your depression. Before you run out to buy a special lamp, it is best to talk with your doctor to see if this course of action is best for you. Your doctor will also be able to give you better guidelines on using light therapy.
Don’t Forget Your Zzzz’s:
Keep a regular bedtime routine and don’t allow yourself to sleep in. Instead, get up with the sun (if you have a choice) and embrace as much daytime as you can. When you sleep in, you are only setting yourself up to be more depressed. Since it is cold and dark in the early mornings, sleeping in seems harmless. However, oversleeping leads to fatigue and can make you feel like you wasted your day away. Keep to a schedule and use natural melatonin pills to help you fall asleep, if needed.
We know, it’s cold and you don’t feel like doing anything. However, a little exercise will help get the blood flowing and improve your mood. Find a fun and quick exercise that you will look forward to doing. Starting your day off with a healthy breakfast and physical activity can literally transform the rest of your day.
Confide in a Friend:
No one likes to admit that they are feeling depressed, especially to others that do not fully understand your situation. Find a friend that you can trust this information with. Ask them to keep you accountable all winter long. This friend will force you to a coffee date or movie date, even when you don’t feel like it.
Remember, you are not alone when it comes to the seasonal blues. It is a completely normal thing that many people have to go through. Make this winter season better by taking care of yourself and seeking out the help you need.