How to Weather Wonderfully through the Winter Blues
Put Some Light In Your Life!
Let down after the busy holiday rush, shorter days, and lack of sunlight can leave many of us with a case of the winter blues. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, some 500,000 Americans have a type of depression that is triggered by the seasons (Seasonal Affective Disorder). They say another 10% to 20% of us experience a milder form of this, but I believe this is a much higher percentage.
The symptoms of the Winter Blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder is:
- Loss of interest in things you normally enjoy
- Change in appetite, especially a craving for sweets or starches
- Tendency to oversleep
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Feelings of irritability or anxiety
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Low libido
- Avoidance of social situations
- Increased sensitivity to social rejection
How to Weather Wonderfully through the Winter Blues:
- Get out as much as you can in the sun before October 15th. For some reason your body can store some of that sunshine to help you through the long haul.
- Plan a mini vacation somewhere warm during February. Even a couple of days break in the winter may be all the cure you need.
- Keep your house clean and fresh smelling. Make sure the filters on your furnace are kept changed and open the windows for a few minutes every so often.
- Keep bowls of water or water fountains in your main rooms to help the air in your home from getting too dry.
- Drink plenty of fluids and keep yourself hydrated. The winter air can be very dry, so extra moisturizers and a good chapstick will help do wonders at this time.
- Get active. Exercise, do yoga, run up and down the stairs, just do SOMETHING. The funny thing about staying active is not only does it help you stay healthy, but it will also raise your energy level and your "feel good" chemicals in your body.
- Have more sex. Sex will help you feel calmer and elevate the feel good chemicals in your body. It will also help keep weight off and give you all the benefits and more of mild to moderate exercise.
- Stay busy. Even though you may feel sluggish, try to plan some projects to keep yourself distracted from the darker days. Whether it's home improvement or taking a class, find something to keep yourself from sitting and brooding about things.
- Take your vitamins. Fish oil, vitamin C and vitamin D are all good supplements to take this time of year to help improve your mood and outlook. SamE is an excellent supplement to look into if you are struggling with your mood as well.
- Take Epsom salt baths. Epsom salt contains magnesium and other nutrients that will help lift your spirits and nourish your body.
- Get a phototherapy light. Generally, light therapy takes about a half hour each morning during the winter season, but you may want to consult with your doctor to make sure what is best for you.
More severe cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder should be medically treated. If you think you fall into the small percentage that may need help, please see your doctor.
Try some or all of these tips to help yourself weather wonderfully through the winter blues you may be having. But most of all, hang in there. The sun will be back before you know it!