Winter Depression - Tips on how to beat feeling depressed in Winter
Many people suffer from winter depression. When it’s cold, dark and miserable outside, it can have a huge impact on a person’s mood and mindset.
Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), winter depression can leave many people feeling depressed, irritable, lethargic, and down in general. And, if you’re feeling this way, you’re not alone. It is thought that winter depression or SAD affects around 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million people across Europe.
The good news is, there are things you can do to prevent winter depression.
What helps seasonal depression?
Although exercising during the winter months is hardly appealing, it’s important that you remain as active as possible, as this will have a huge impact on your day to day mood.
Focusing on getting fit and enjoying a sport that you love can help you to cope with the winter blues, releasing plenty of happy endorphins.
Although braving the weather and getting outside is probably the last thing on your mind when it is freezing cold, it can really help to lift your mood, especially on those brighter winter days when the sun makes a welcome appearance.
Even a 30-minute walk during daylight hours can seriously help combat the winter blues.
Seek the sun
The symptoms of winter depression are made worse by a lack of sun exposure – the vitamin D in the sunshine is vital for our mental health. Not only this, but being in the sunlight helps to balance serotonin activity, boosts the production of melatonin, and balances your circadian rhythm.
So seek out the sun wherever you can. As well as spending as much time as possible outdoors, try moving your workspace or a chair to a window that gets sunlight, and sit in front of it for at least an hour a day.
Ensuring that you eat healthily during the winter months can also do wonders for your general health and wellbeing. A healthy diet will not only boost your mood and make you feel better about yourself, but it will also give you more energy to get out and about and be more productive.
Fill yourself up with plenty of fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, pasta and potatoes and you will quickly notice a difference.
For those that struggle with the dim days and long nights, light can help combat the symptoms associated with seasonal depression. Sitting in front of a lightbox for up to two hours a day can alter brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep while easing SAD symptoms.
One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a lightbox for up to two hours a day.
See your friends and family
Ensuring that you find the time to see your family and friends can do wonders for your mood and mental health.
Whether you grab a coffee, pop over for a chat or get out and about for a walk, there are plenty of ways that you can spend quality time with your favourite people.
Ask for help
If making changes to your lifestyle isn’t providing the relief you need from the winter blues, it might be time to seek professional help. Speak to your GP or a therapist about how you’re feeling.
Find out more
If you’d like to train to become a counsellor or hypnotherapist so you can help support those suffering from winter depression and other mental health conditions, we can help. Get in touch today or request a prospectus.