As the days get shorter and winter closes in, many people feel like hibernating. We start sleeping more, eating more and avoiding social contact. The effects can be particularly oppressive for people with depression, many of whom feel escalating dread as the end of daylight saving time approaches. Here are eight ways to keep the black dog at bay after you turn back the clocks.
Socializing and exercising. OK, not exactly what you crave when you’re feeling depressed, but forcing yourself to be active and meet people can really turn your mood around.
Light therapy. Waking up in the dark can be tough on your body’s rhythms, so try to wake up in bright light. You’d think Daylight Saving would actually help with this one, but the disruption of the time change can outweigh the bit of extra light.
Massage. Good news, massages aren’t just about pampering yourself. “There are many, many, many studies on depression and massage showing that there is not only a decrease in symptoms of depression but also underlying changes that are happening physiologically and biochemically,” says one doctor.
Deep breathing. You can call it yoga, meditation, or just focused breathing, but the results are still just as helpful. Under stress, blood pressure rises, but a few deep breaths can reverse that and help calm you down again.