05 Jan 2020
Five ways to help you manage the winter blues
With winter hitting the top gear, you are bound to feel "down" or "low" once again.
As they call it, "winter blues" [technically - Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD] is a form of seasonal depression characterized by low mood, increased sleeping, and fluctuations in appetite.
However, it can be dealt with. Here are five simple ways to help you manage winter blues (without medication).
Even if it feels impossible to get out of the blanket, force yourself to get up and going.
Research suggests that even a moderate amount of daily exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression.
Going out early and running for 15-20 minutes can help enhance your mood and regulate circadian rhythms.
You can also try simple body-weight exercises like push-ups, crunches, right at home.
Mind your diet
During the winter months, heavy comfort foods (loaded with greasy and refined carbohydrates) such as pizza and sugar-loaded treats could be tempting.
They may even enhance mood and relieve stress in the short-term, but will eventually lead to increased feelings of stress and anxiety.
Instead, aim to consume a healthy and balanced diet, comprising complex carbohydrates, essential vitamins. Think veggies, fruits, soups et al.
Brighten your surroundings
The gloomy days in winters can also amplify feelings of sadness and anxiety. Hence, try and surround yourself with more brightness.
Sit near some artificial light source or a fireplace. Open up the curtains and blinds, once in a while. Also, wear clothes with brighter shades.
It is also advisable to go out and meet people, even if you don't "feel like" doing so.
Sleep deprivation or poor-quality sleep is just too bad for your mental health.
Try to adopt and stick to a fixed sleep schedule, implying that you go to bed and get up at the same time each day, on weekdays and weekends alike.
Aim for 7-9 hours of sound sleep every night, and ensure your sleeping area is free from noise or other distractions.
Take up a hobby
If you stay mostly indoors and don't have much to do, chances are that your boredom is triggering sadness and depression. To deal with it, start a new hobby, or throw a party, or plan a vacation, or just whatever gets you going.
Note: If you're suffering from SAD/depression, and nothing seems to work, do not hesitate to seek professional medical help.