If you’ve ever struggled to get out of bed during winter, you’re not alone. The Winter Blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) causes people to show depressive symptoms due to the change in season.
There are many reasons why people feel down during winter. The sun disappears and sun is essential to your mental and physical health. Days are shorter, it’s cold and the holidays can end up being expensive. You have time off at work and school to be with your family, sometimes leading to stressful situations. Grey skies have the ability to affect your overall mood.
This winter, we at Cinta Manis have got just what the doctor ordered. Don’t be a victim of the nasty winter blues. With inspiration from our favourite websites, you can fight SAD and have a happy, productive and successful winter season.
Know the stats
Nearly 20% of people experience SAD at some point and the disorder is 4 times more common in women than in men. In fact, if you’re a woman between the ages of 18 and 30, you are most at risk. Symptoms vary slight mood changes to complete inability to function normally. Some people even need to be hospitalized.
The small town of Rjukan in Norway has found a way to bring more sunlight to its residents during winter. This idea came to a resident after high levels of winter blues were reported. The town has erected large, rotating mirrors that would “first collect the sunlight and then spread it like a headlamp beam over the town of Rjukan and its merry inhabitants,” according to The Atlantic.
If you’re suffering from low energy levels, suicidal thoughts, loss of appetite, hopelessness, cravings of unhealthy food and difficulty concentrating, it might be a good idea to go and see your doctor.
You can also try our easy, step-by-step guide to beating the winter blues.
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat”! We’re all prone to binging on comfort food during winter.The problem is sugar and processed carbohydrates cause you to crash within a few hours, so you feel worse than before.
Try a mood-boosting serotonin diet, which includes healthy carbohydrates found in vegetables, accompanied by fresh fruit and lots of water. Fatty pizza, fries and candy are hard to resist when it’s cold outside, but they won’t do anything for your mental health.
Brighten up your environment
The most effective way of beating the winter blues can be to simply create more light. Your office, bedroom or kitchen where you spend the largest chunk of time needs to be well-lit.
Artificial lights, known as light boxes, can help boost your mood. Just 30 minutes of light a day already shows significant improvements. Try trimming trees in front of your windows, keeping your curtains open throughout the day and sitting nearer to the windows while you’re working or studying.
Getting up to go for a run, practise yoga or lift weights is probably the very last thing you feel like doing when it’s snowing outside. Exercise is actually a proven and known cure for the winter blues. Working out releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones, and can have lasting positive effects on your depression.
Make sure you set a goal for yourself. Try sticking to a routine, exercising with a friend and treating yourself to some brightly coloured and pretty exercise clothes. That way, you’ll be motivated to get up and do your workout.
Yes, you read that right. We all know that music is extremely powerful when it comes to affecting your mood. Listening to a few happy, energetic and upbeat songs in the morning can revolutionize your wake up routine. Music can make you jump out of bed with a smile on your face.
Have a project
Plan a holiday, start a scrapbook or update your CV… Why not try starting a blog or writing a book? Any project, no matter how small, can do the trick. It will give you a sense of purpose and help you get through the days with something to look forward to.
An effective way of boosting your mood is to have a to-do list and to cross off every task you accomplish. Beating the winter blues is about finding success and productivity in your days where you just want to stay in bed, so crossing something off your list can make you feel very proud and confident.
Winter blues are not as well researched and commonly spoken about as other types of depression, but it is a real thing and you need to know that you’re not alone. If you feel the symptoms creeping up, start by going for a jog, eating fresh food and surrounding yourself with light. If that doesn’t make you feel better, it’s advised to visit a doctor and explain your symptoms.
The most important thing is to get help. Winter blues are totally beatable, you just need the right support system and a little bit of inspiration.
-With Sweet Love