Are you feeling blue lately? Have you recently witnessed a sudden shift in your mood and energy? Don’t worry, you are not alone as you might be experiencing the so-called “Winter Blues”.
What are winter blues?
Shorter days, colder weather, and gloomy skies can take a toll on most people. In fact, colder months can drain your energy and leave you out of sorts especially if you are stuck inside for several hours. The good news is that winter blues are common and will clear up within a few days! However, what is uncommon is the depression that might strike you for months whenever the seasons change.
Confused? No worries, we will help you distinguish between “Winter Blues” and “SAD” (seasonal affective disorder)!
As we have mentioned before, winter blues are associated with sadness and low mood that occur during winter and last for a few days. In fact, winter blues are not a medical diagnosis and don’t require professional help. On the contrary, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a type of depression that can occur during winter or summer. A person with SAD can experience depression that interferes with daily functioning, sleeping difficulty, eating disorders, and social detachment. These symptoms can last for months and necessitate medication or therapy.
What are the symptoms?
A person with winter blues can feel down, sad, demotivated, less energized, and might as well experience sleep disruption and lack of concentration for a few days. These winter blues symptoms usually appear due to the absence of sunlight during winter but can fade away on their own.
How to fend off winter blues?
As we have mentioned before, the symptoms of winter blues can clear up on their own. However, here are 7 tips that can help you cheer up during winter:
- Break a sweat
Whether you choose to hit the gym, go for a stroll, or ride your bike, staying active is a great mood enhancer.
- Chase the sun
Whenever you feel that the sun is out, a promenade, picnic, or just chilling in the sun might be all that you need!
- Stay connected
Even on the days when you don’t feel like getting out of bed, hanging out with your friends can be a remedy.
- Create a bedtime routine
Surviving the winter blues is easier with a bedtime routine! The process is simple, go to bed and wake up at the same time daily, create your own soothing bedtime rituals such as taking a shower, listening to soft music, or reading a book, sleep in a cool dim room, and seek out the sun as soon as you wake up.
- Keep an eye on what you eat
Don’t let winter blues tempt you to eat sugary foods and carbohydrates! Put your chocolate bar away, and add more vegetables and fruits to your plate. Don’t forget to consume food rich in vitamin D including fatty fish, beef liver, egg yolk, fortified cereals, and fortified dairy products.
- Hot chocolate anyone?
We can’t deny that huddling around hot cups of cocoa on rainy days is the winter ritual everyone looks forward to. What a mood booster this is!
- Comedy series can do the trick
Nothing can beat the depressive symptoms like a good laugh! Prepare your popcorn and enjoy a series that can make you laugh out loud. “Friends” is the perfect option, though.
In fact, these 7 tips can be beneficial for those suffering from SAD as well. But in most severe cases, light therapy can be the best alternative.
As you can see, overcoming winter blues is a walk in the park! However, if these winter blues symptoms persisted for months, consulting an expert is a must.