Avoiding the Winter Blues
Even though we haven't had much of a winter this year, many are still feeling the effects of the cold weather, cabin fever, and dreary skies. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition that affects many people in varying degrees, especially those in areas with long, cold winters. Symptoms include depression, excessive eating, increased fatigue, decreased physical activity, and decreased ability to think clearly. For some, this can be a serious problem and a cause for great amounts of stress. Here are a few tips to help avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder.
1. Light Therapy: Getting as much natural light is important in stemming the onset of SAD. Depending on severity, this can simply mean opening windows more often to let in sunlight or using brighter, more natural light bulbs. In more extreme cases, some opt for Light Therapy, which involves sitting in front of a light box which simulates a full spectrum of natural light.
2. Stay Active: Staying active and exercising is another important remedy for the winder blues. This can mean starting a workout regime or just going for a walk outside in the sun. Exercise leads to an increase in energy and releases dopamine, which regulates mood and can leave you feeling better throughout winter.
3. Socialize: Surrounding yourself with friends and loved ones is a great way to keep from laying around in your home all winter. Find people who will get you out outside, keep you active and entertained. This will not only keep your body up and moving, but you'll stay mentally active and alert.
Seasonal Affective Disorder can be a serious condition, and those who find themselves really suffering should consult a doctor. Most however will will be able to avoid the winter blues with these simple steps.