The Season To Cope With Winter Blues

As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, it is normal to feel a bit bluer. Do not feel alone.

The bed becomes impossible to get out of, the TV remote is irremovable from the hand and eating while doing nothing is definitely a better option than working out. The clinical diagnosis and name for the change in mood and lifestyle is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, but many experience it mildly and might know it as the “winter blues.” The difference is that to be diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, the symptoms must keep recurring in a seasonal pattern, according to WebMD.

Depression, lack of motivation, less energy and over eating are some of the symptoms people experience from when the winter season rolls around until spring arrives. It is estimated that six percent of Americans are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder and the number grows to between 10 to 20 percent when discussing Americans that are affected by the mild version, winter blues. It is more common in northern states where the weather is colder and sun is less likely to come out during the season.

One of the more popular methods for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder is through light therapy. The root cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder and the winter blues is believed to be shortening of the day and most importantly, a lack of sun. Believe it or not, the sun’s rays are vital to our health and mood. It provides us with much needed Vitamin D and improves our state of mind. Light therapy, which is basically being near a light source that imitates the sun such as a light box, or fluorescent lamp for a set amount of time during the winter season is usually doctor recommended. Light boxes can be expensive though and there are ways to fend off the winter blues through simple lifestyle tweaks.

One simple way to fight off winter sadness is to get outside more often during sunlight hours.

Scheduling it in may be more difficult, but spending just a half hour outside before work or before school can improve your mood. If there is no time for that, try to keep curtains and blinds open so that light is let in and if possible try to be next to the window. Full spectrum light bulbs are also a great way of adding more light to your life as they mimic suns rays.

Today Health & Wellness says if your life is on a tight schedule that you enjoy, try to stick to it. By not breaking away from it and staying in to hibernate during the blues, you keep yourself busy and occupied with so much that there is no time to be in your feelings.

Something that Real Simple Health and Villanova Student Life says is great for fighting off the winter blues and just good for health in general is maintaining a healthy diet as well as exercising. Exercising is a great stress reliever, gives out more energy and is known to boost confidence as well as release feel-good endorphins. Avoiding processed foods and eating more complex carbohydrates is also good for boosting energy.

Today Health & Wellness also says that friends and family are there for a reason, so talk to them and be around them. Talking about your issues is a step in the right direction to getting rid of them. Helping others complete tasks or doing some volunteering work can work as pick-me-ups, too. Making a difference in the world is sure to boost morale and get you out of the funk.

Last, but not least, Real Simple Health says do things that you enjoy. Listen to some cheerful, uplifting music, go outside and enjoy the snow, and if the snow is not your thing, plan a vacation around the winter time. Just planning a vacation in general could raise a spirit. Do not be defeated by the winter blues, there is too much to do to get out of them. Get out. Enjoy this lifetime!

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