Is cabin fever setting in? Do you find yourself feeling more depressed as the temperatures drop? Many people find themselves unhappy during the winter months.
You can’t go out and do the things you can in the summertime, and you find yourself feeling bored and depressed. If you feel that way, than you may be suffering from winter depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by the medical community.
The main difference between SAD and depression is that SAD only affects people in the winter. When the days are shorter, and the nights are longer, it triggers depression in those with SAD. You’re not alone though, many people suffer from this. Statistics show that as many as six percent of people experience SAD. It’s quite common in late fall and winter.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
If you’re not sure you have SAD, here are some common symptoms:
- fatigue and changes in sleep patterns
- increased appetite
- light sensitivity
- difficulty concentrating
- reduced interest in activities
- relationship problems
- worsening of PMS symptoms
Who wants PMS symptoms to get worse?! Those with depression, often experience these symptoms, but there are ways to treat them. Yes, there is light at the end of this tunnel!
Let There Be Light!
Those with full-blown SAD are often treated with light therapy. Light therapy is sitting in front of a bright light for 30 minutes or more a day. This takes time, and it may even be a few weeks before you start to see results.
You have to be consistent with light therapy. Seasonal Affective Disorder lights are prescribed by doctors first before prescribing medication.
If you don’t need light therapy, than mood stabilizers and antidepressants are sometimes needed. But, treating SAD doesn’t have to be with drugs. There are other ways to kick the winter blues away too.
You Can’t Be S.A.D. When You’re Active
Staying active is key to feeling better. Walking has been shown to reduce winter depression. Getting out of the house for any activity will be beneficial to how you feel.
Go outside and build a snowman with your children, or grandchildren. Kids always know how to have a good time, whether it’s sunny, raining, or snowing outside. Plus, they can always put a smile on your face!
Eat, Drink (Tea) and Be Merry
Maintain a healthy eating habit. Those with SAD often have an increase in appetite during the winter months. Make sure you get the right amount of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. This will make you feel better than a diet high in fat, and lots of caffeine.
Resist those foods that will make you feel tired! Eating foods with tryptophan, such as fish, turkey, bananas, nuts, and avocados can help boost serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that depression sufferers don’t have enough of, and is made of tryptophan.
That little concoction can boots energy levels and improve your mood! So, if you like tea, than that would be a good one to drink during the winter months. It will not only taste great, but it’ll make you have more energy too. So, drink up!