With the cold season comes darkness; and for many people winter is like a shadow on the soul. While some people simply withdraw themselves a little during that time, others fall into a crisis. Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms (SAD) vary from person to person. For people inclined to a lighter winter blues their mood can be lighted with simple means. Whereas, more severe version can lead to depression, which requires medical help.
During these darker months of the year, the brain produces less serotonin, which is a brain messenger. This hormone affects our mood and appetite and can result is sleep disturbances, lover energy level, and irritability.
What can you do to avoid the winter blues?
- Take the advantage to capture any sunlight during the cold, dark months. Break up your workday with a walk during lunch hour; even a walk under an over casted sky can lift your mood.
- Studies show that sport has an antidepressant effect. Particularly cardio exercises and activities in the fresh air promote our well-being and increase the serotonin level.
- Eat a healthy diet and add foods to your diet which contains serotonin, like walnuts or bananas.
- The herbal remedy St. John’s Wort has a marked antidepressant effect. However, it must be taken regularly for several weeks until the effect begins. St John’s Wort is generally very well tolerated, but it can increase the sensitivity to light. Take the advice of a doctor to determine whether it can interact with other medicine.
- A good intake on vitamins C will boost your immune system and protect you from viruses and bacteria.
- Some people have the opportunity to escape the winter traveling to a sunnier and warmer part of the world. If this is not an option, light therapy can help to replace the real sun light. It is also recommended to consult a health provider who specializes in light therapy to ensure getting the right amount of light and filter out dangerous UV rays.
- Alternative treatment, such as Homeopathy, Reiki, Acupuncture, can be very supportive with mental and emotional perception. It can help you focusing on positive solutions.
- If you suspect you are at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder, make sure to reach out for help from family, friends or professional health providers