We have all had those days, letting the cold dark winter weather affect our mood and take away any productivity we may have had planned. What is this feeling? Why am I always tired and gaining weight? Some may say it’s the winter blues but in fact you may be suffering from something much more serious, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? According to the Mayo Clinic, Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. For most this is during the winter and can be caused by the lack of sunlight.
You may be wondering, how do we fix this if we can’t control the weather?! Well here are 6 simple ways to fight SAD and be at the top of our game during this winter season!
1. Eat to stimulate a better mood. A little bit of chocolate may help, but don’t go crazy! Too much candy and carbohydrates can ultimately have a negative effect on your feelings and actually encourage SAD.
2. Exercise your way to happiness. Exercise can cause a release of endorphins that will uplift your spirits. If possible avoid exercising in a low-lit area, studies show that exercising in bright light can reverse the effects of depression and improve mental health.
3. Get used to the cold. People who have a better tolerance to the cold tend to have less symptoms of SAD. Going on a casual walk during the winter can help your mind accept the fact that the weather is going to feel cold for the next few months.
4. Keep your environment brighter. Brighter light bulbs or even just opening the blinds and having a seat next to the window can help reverse the effect of the cold weather.
5. Vacations. This seems easier said than done for most but even just the thought of planning a vacation can boost your mood.
6. Give Cryotherapy a try. Cryotherapy causes the brain to release a higher-than normal level of endorphins, which help fight the feeling of depression. It has been known to increase energy levels, sleep and immune functions all of which are crucial to avoid the Winter Blues!