Four Simple Ways You Can Beat The Winter Blues
In many places, during the winter, the sun doesn’t shine as much as it usually does. That can bring on seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can cause problems for people of all ages. Not everyone will be affected the same way, but the symptoms can be tough to deal with, no matter what they are. Here are some ways you can identify and battle the difficulties of dealing with of SAD.
Signs and Symptoms
While these symptoms alone do not mean you struggle with SAD, they do show up in people who have the problem. Depression and moodiness are the key signs that appear in many who lack enough sunlight during the winter. Sleep problems and lethargy are other symptoms. You just don’t want to do anything. Other signs can include overeating, being unsociable or irritability.
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Enjoy Kona Coffee
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Try Light Therapy
Because lack of sunlight is one cause of SAD, you should consider trying light therapy. You can purchase a light therapy box or lamp; research may yield other options. For the best results, spend at least 20 minutes a day (up to two hours if possible) within 3 feet of a 300-watt bulb.
Also, if you have an east-facing room where you can get the morning sun, you might want to spend at least part of the morning in there. A morning walk can help too.
Go Outside and Get Active
Moving around can help beat the blues as well. Walking for 30 to 60 minutes a day can do wonders for you any time of year. Of course being outside during the day provides the natural light that is so good for you. If you can’t walk outside that long, then consider taking an exercise class of some sort. The more active you are, the less depressed you will be.
Being cold can contribute to SAD symptoms, so wear warm clothes. Keep your house draft-free. Warm socks or slippers can help the body retain heat, as can hot drinks and hot foods like soup. Research seems to indicate that staying warm can decrease your blues symptoms significantly, as much as half.
One thing that can make depression and lethargy worse is eating a lot of carbohydrates. That can make you sleepy any time but especially if you are suffering from the winter blues. Healthy soups, salads, and other low-carb dishes are excellent.
The winter blues are nothing to shrug off. The effects can be devastating to those it hits hard. But with these simple steps the side effects can be significantly decreased, and in some cases, eliminated.