Do you find yourself being more depressed than usual during the winter months? You might be suffering from what is known as winter depression or “Winter Blues”, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The main culprit of this type of seasonal depression is due to fewer amount of light hours that occur during the winter months.
It’s been shown that as much as 10 percent in people might be suffering from this type of depression. People who have absolutely normal mental health throughout most of the year, during the winter months will feel depressed, tired and unable perform to their best ability. Seasonal affective depressive disorder usually is more prevalent in young adults and is more common in females than in males.
Seasonal Depression Symptoms
Typical seasonal depression symptoms are very similar to the symptoms found in other types of depression experienced by sufferers. Some of them include increase in desire to be alone, difficulty concentrating, increase in appetite and weight gain, need in excessive amount of sleep.
Fortunately there are few things you can try to help you deal with your winter depression.
Get More Natural Light
One of the main reasons for Seasonal Affective Depressive Disorder is not enough light sufferers get exposed to. Try increasing your exposure by getting as much natural light as possible, especially in early morning hours, between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.. Get outside and go for a walk and if possible, sit near a window at your work in order to get exposed to as much sun as possible during the light hours.
Exercise & Physical Activities
You often feel energized after shoveling the snow, a gym workout, or a run outside. Exercise is not only good for your physical well-being, but for your mental health as well. You often get a nice rush of endorphins after finishing some kind of physical activity and often it will be enough to counterbalance some of the effects of SAD that you might be feeling.
Practice Healthy Habits
It’s well known that healthy habits lead to healthy mind and body. Regular exercise, plenty of sleep, low amount of stress and proper diet should always be practiced, whether you feel depressed or not. However, this healthy lifestyle is especially important if you’re feeling depressed. Cutting out sugars, getting plenty of sleep, finding time to relax and eating properly will help you to naturally boost your energy levels which will counteract one of the main symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, lethargy. Having a healthy regime is one way you can ensure Winter Blues won’t stop you from staying mentally healthy during the winter months.
St John’s Wort
St John’s wort is one of the better known herbs that is often used as the alternative antidepressant and can be highly effective in combating some of the symptoms associated with SAD. Unlike many meds that can be prescribed, St. John Wort has very few side effects and it might be all you need to fight your winter blues. However if you continue to feel depressed and none of the mentioned strategies work you should always visit your doctor who after examining you might prescribe something more appropriate for your condition to ensure you won’t be suffering from winter depression.