Seasonal Affective Disorder: Effective Ways to Beat Winter BluesNovember 10, 2018 17:22
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From the absence of sunlight to bitterly cold weather, the impulse to laze around indoors during winter can be so enticing.
According to experts, several people feel sluggish and low during the winter months.
Otherwise called Seasonal Affective Disorder, the winter blues is a sort of depression that can impact people's moods, leading them to feel tired, sleep more, starve carbohydrates and have little motivation.
So with winter in its early stages, know what exactly is the winter blues and the most effective ways of tackling it.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Although there is no medical agreement on what is the cause of winter blues, diminishing daylight can have an earnest impact on health.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a state encountered by those who undergo normal mental health during the rest of the year yet suffer depression during winter months.
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People with SAD tend to encounter symptoms around autumn, which go along into the winter months and normally peak around January and February.
Likewise feeling low, here are some frequent symptoms of winter blues
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Sleeping more than usual
- Feeling unmotivated and bored
- Over-eating and weight gain, with a craving for carbs
- Lack of interest in friends or activities that you normally enjoy
- Feeling irritable and moody
- Difficulty in concentrating
There are a number of ways you can beat the winter blues, including physical activity, mindfulness, and diet.
Invite as much sunlight as possible in the home by keeping all the curtains drawn and windows clear during the day.
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And whenever possible try to head outdoor, even for merely five minutes.
Visit Friends and Family
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Avoid the feeling of isolation by being more affable with family and friends, not solely will this lift your mood but will also increase motivation to go out and about and keep engaged.
Staying active and on a regular basis exercising is significant during the winter months, as this can help lessen some of the indications of SAD.
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Something as simple as going to a jog or a walk outside will boost the serotonin endorphins in the body, which sends 'feel-good' chemicals to the brain.
Take Vitamin D
Staying indoors coupled with dark, depressing winter days can trigger levels of vitamin D to fall, creating a deficiency of this critical source of well-being.
Getting enough vitamin D during the dull days of winter can really help fight off winter blues as the vitamin is a central hormone that can impact our moods.
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Vitamin D rich foods include salmon, eggs, milk, mackerel, cheese, and orange juice.
Equally, for those who go to work in the dark and travel home in the dark, are advised to take Vitamin D supplements.
Certain carbohydrates, such as whole grains, beans, and other vegetables, can aid hold back regular levels of serotonin (the 'feel-good' chemical).
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Eating a substantial amount of such foods on a daily basis can help boost the immune system and lift spirits.
Winter blues can lead to change in mood, tiredness and weight gain (Trinity Mirror).
Eat Omega-3 Rich Foods
According to research, omega-3 fatty acids can be effective in relieving symptoms of SAD, providing a speedy and effortless mood boost for those who endure winter blues.
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Fish, salmon, soybeans, walnuts, and flaxseeds are all high in Omega-3.
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Alcohol, nicotine and excessive caffeine can all increase levels of stress and anxiety.
According to the NHS, being cold can heighten depression.
And it is also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half.
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Keep cosy with hot food and hot drinks, wear warm clothes and shoes and aim to keep heating up to at least 18C.
Talk to someone
Talking to someone or writing down any pessimistic thoughts can improve positivity.
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However, if symptoms are bad, consider booking an appointment with a local General Physician.