Want to do more than just survive this winter? Seasonal depression, often referred to as the ‘winter blues’, can be difficult to manage without some healthy habits to keep you going.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year, as a result of seasonal change. Statistics show that roughly 5% of the US population will experience seasonal affective depression symptoms.
However, the cold, dreary months don’t have to be consumed with depressive hibernation. These five tips can help you overcome the blues during the winter months, and have you living your best life all year round.
1. Get Outside Everyday
Stepping outside for a few minutes every day can increase your mood dramatically. It gives you what your body needs in the form of Vitamin D, which can decrease symptoms of depression. In this blog post, you can read more about the effects of Vitamin D on depression and overall health.
Additionally, exercise is key to keeping your mind and body working at peak performance. If you don’t feel up to working out, take a short walk every day to de-stress and get some fresh air.
2. Get a Full Night of Sleep
Give your body the time it needs to decompress with a full night of sleep.
According to research, 75% of people with depression aren’t getting enough sleep. If you aim to sleep between 7-9 hours every night, you can better process your emotions, and fuel your body for the next day.
3. Switch up Your Surroundings
Sometimes you need something new and exciting to boost your mood. Try making simple changes to your living space to make it look fresh and inviting. Engage your senses with a warm blanket to get you through the winter nights, or a candle in your favorite scent.
Add light to your space to lift your spirits. Bright lights in your home can make you feel less tired, and combat the darkness outside.
4. Cook Yourself a Meal
Cooking for yourself can feel like self-care if you let it. Make cooking less of a chore and more of a time for creative experimentation. Find a new recipe online that you’ve been dying to try out, and take the time to enjoy the food you’ve prepared.
This act of sustaining yourself will help you appreciate the little things in life. Share that meal with family and friends as a reason to connect and socialize with the people around you.
5. Let It Out
Don’t forget to process your emotions. Burying them, or ignoring them, is not going to make them go away. Find a way that works for you. Some people enjoy journaling as a way to release overwhelming thoughts onto paper.
Once you write them in your journal, you’ll be able to go through your day without the weight of your emotions.
If you’re more of a social person, try to talk to at least one person every day. Engage in meaningful conversations with the people you’re closest to. This will make you feel less isolated during a difficult time.
If you find that your symptoms are worsening, it might be time to seek help. Professional psychiatric advice can help guide you through this time. If you feel like you don’t know what to do, don’t be afraid to reach out.
Beat the Winter Blues
Experiencing the winter blues because of seasonal changes might be inevitable. However, there are things you can do to take back control.
If you experience seasonal depression symptoms, refer back to this article for a guide to keep you feeling your best this winter.