Don’t Let Your Mood Drop with the Temperature
After weeks of bone-chillingly cold temperatures, snowy weather and too few daylight hours, are you struggling to find the energy to get through your day? Are you feeling moody or down in the dumps? Whether you experience noticeable depression or just a touch of the winter blues when the days grow cold and dark, understanding the science behind the behavior can help you to lift your spirits. Here are some ways to keep the dark days of winter from negatively impacting your life.
Let there be light. Researchers believe milder cases of winter depression are primary triggered by the lack of exposure to sunlight. Lack of sunlight can also lead to low levels of vitamin D, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, depression and disrupted sleep patterns. Exposure to sunlight – even on cloudy days – is a simple and powerful way to improve your spirits.
Get more vitamin D. Not enough sun exposure during the winter can result in vitamin D deficiency, which has been linked to depression. A simple blood test at RediClinic can determine your vitamin D level. If you do have a deficiency, a RediClinic board-certified clinician will recommend or prescribe a daily supplement and the appropriate dosage.
Exercise regularly. Commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Exercise gets your endorphins flowing, which is one of the best cures for the winter blues. If you live in an area with harsh winters, here are some tips to help you maintain a workout routine through the cold months.
Reach out. Your body may want to stay home and hibernate through the winter, but social interaction is one of the best ways to fight winter depression. Schedule time with family and friends, and look for meaningful ways to serve in your community.
Is It the Winter Blues, or Something More?
If you are incapacitated in the winter months in a way that seriously impacts the quality of your life, you may suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This is a type of severe depression related to the change in seasons. A clinician can advise you on finding help to address SAD symptoms.