Lots of people get frustrated in the cold wintry months, or suffer from what is known as “the winter blues,” which is often referred to as seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, winter blues can have the following symptoms:
- Anxious, “empty” or sad feelings
- Restlessness, irritability
- Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt
- Loss of pleasure or interest in activities which you normally enjoy
- Decreased energy and fatigue
- Difficulties in remembering details, concentrating and making concrete decisions
- Oversleeping or lack of sleep
- Weight changes
- Suicidal tendencies or thoughts related to death
If the dark, short days are getting you down, how can you add some vigor and vitality to it? While the specific reasons behind SAD remain unknown, researchers have found some brilliant ideas to kill your winter blues.
Here are the top 5 and effective ways to avoid SAD
These scientific proven ways will lift your spirits and ease the doldrums of mid-winter.
- Brighten up your environment
Winter is a time when your body craves for more daylight. So, sitting next to an artificial light, commonly known as light box for at least 30 minutes per day can turn out to be the best antidepressant medication. You just need to sit a few feet away from a specially designed bright light, which is somewhat similar to the natural light of the sun. This therapy causes a change in the chemicals of your brain that are linked to mood swings and can be effective for people in reversing SAD symptoms.
Opening curtains and blinds, trimming the branches of the trees in your garden, and sitting closer to windows can provide you an extra dose of bright, healthy sunlight.
- Eat well
It’s absolutely essential to eat well during winter. SAD can make you crave for carbohydrates and sugary foods like pasta, chocolate and bread. However, don’t forget to include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. At the same time, eating loads of foods containing high percentages of carbohydrates and fats can result your blood sugar to crash, eventually giving you the feeling of sluggishness. So, ensure to eat a healthy and balanced diet that can uplift your spirits.
- Green exercise
Green exercise refers to physical exercise that is performed in natural environments. This includes going outside and enjoying any winter activities, such as skiing, skating, sliding and other kinds of winter activities, just bundle up and stay warm 🙂 These exercises are effective in aiding a broad range of mental health complications. Studies have indicated that ecotherapy can boost self-esteem, correct mental health, reduce social isolation and develop physical health.
- Undergo treatments
Undergoing treatments like psychotherapy, counseling or cognitive behavior therapy can be very much helpful in aiding individuals to cope with SAD symptoms. For those who are suffering from severe winter blues, antidepressants can turn out to be successful. For maximum effect, it’s best to combine such treatments with light therapy.
Meditation is the best antidote to winter blues. A truly devoted meditation practice can help your mind to relax and tackle any odd situation in life with utmost ease. Create a sacred and quiet space in your home, and think of all the best experiences in your life. Do this for ten minutes twice a day, preferably in the morning and before you hit the pillow. You’ll be aghast at how this elevates your mood.
Despite the fact that millions of us suffer from winter blues, there are possible remedies that can bring laughter and sunshine into our lives. We would be glad to know your tips on killing SAD this winter.
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