During the winter months, the symptoms of depression are usually more pronounced and severe. Moving from warmth, happiness, and lots of sun to dark, freezing, and bitter months can be a difficult transition for some. This time of year is Daylight Saving Time, which can cause further problems if the weather is already affecting your mood.
What are common problems people have in winter?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common in some people. This is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern over the years. SAD is commonly referred to as ‘winter blues’ and affects around 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million people across Northern Europe. The disorder affects people of all ages.
Anxiety can also occur because lack of sunlight can disrupt your body’s release of neurotransmitters, which is linked to both anxiety and depression.
Another effect of these cool temperatures is that you may feel more tired than normal. The result of tiredness could be the shorter days in winter, but also the lack of sun. Just ten minutes of sun exposure during the summer months will provide you with the vitamin D you need each day. However, it is quite difficult to get it for ten minutes during the winter months. Vitamin D is a hormone and has a huge impact on mood.
How do I improve these moods?
Exercise is a great way to keep yourself both motivated and happy. It helps against winter fatigue, especially when you exercise in the sun, as you also get vitamin D at the same time.
2. Correct your sleep pattern
A good sleep schedule solves more than you might think. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep every night can help you stay more awake and ensure you go about your day with as little fatigue as possible.
3. Create a playlist
Most people agree that music makes you feel wonderful. Playing your favorite songs releases dopamine, the feel-good hormone that’s key to activating part of the brain’s pleasure and reward systems.
4. Don’t isolate
Isolating yourself from people is the worst thing you can do to worsen your mental health. As much as you might want to stay in bed forever, it’s not a great solution to your feelings. The lack of social interaction can be as bad as smoking and can lead to death from loneliness, depression, etc. The best way to help yourself is to get out into the world and have fun with your friends and family that will make you happier.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
Unhealthy eating habits can cause mood swings. Blood sugar levels are usually the cause. When your blood sugar levels have dropped, fatigue, irritability, and depression appear. If you’re already feeling down because of the winter cold, eating unhealthily isn’t going to make you feel any better. Make sure you eat what your body needs and drink enough water.
Depression is something we optionally don’t want to experience, and seeking help is always a good option. Try talking to others about how you’re feeling.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23120058.defeating-winter-blues-sophie-p-jones-st-catherines-college/?ref=rss Beat the Winter Blues by Sophie P-Jones, St. Catherine’s College