Are you one of those people to whom gloomy and chilly winter days want to curl up under the cover and hibernate there until you see the sunlight again? Well, you are not alone. During the dark and rainy days, we get less mood-booster i.e. sunlight, Winter, in this case, set the perfect stage for winter blues. You feel winter blues more when the days are short.
The best psychologists in Multan even say that it is not even uncommon if you feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating, sadness and have a disruption in your sleep during the winter season. As it is one of the common symptoms of the winter blues. For some people, this mood change is temporary and it is easily managed with particular lifestyle modifications. But, for some people, it can be a serious type of depression and can lead to seasonal affective disorder or SAD.
But, no need to worry. Here are some things that we have compiled to help you beat the winter blues.
Simple & Easy Tips to Beat the Winter Blues this Season
While you may not be able to change the weather or the amount of sunlight that you need during winter. You can, however, practice good self-care that can help you feel better.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help you cope with winter blues this season.
1- Taking a Break from News Influx
The more indoors you are, the more time you’ll spend on your screen. And if during that time, you are consuming a non-stop influx of news, you are only going to trigger your winter blues.
To help yourself from feeling sad or stressed, you need to declutter yourself from the news. Try to limit the intake of news and the time you spend on screen. If easy and possible, you can fix an hour or time for news consumption and break that time into chunks.
2- Mood Booster Food
You might have heard that you become what you eat. What you eat has a huge impact on what you are feeding your body. Food can be a mood booster and the opposite as well. Try to add protein to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner as protein is a mood booster. Avoid sugar and craving carbs as they can badly affect your mood.
Try to add foods rich in Vitamin D such as fish oil, fatty fish, and fortified food such as milk, breakfast cereal, orange juice, yogurt, and other food sources that can help with your mood. Studies have shown that people with low Vitamin D levels are at higher risk of suffering from depression.
3- Manage Sleep Routine
Sleep is a basic component of a good mood. Without regular, adequate, and sufficient sleep, our circadian rhythm is disturbed. It can also affect your hormone production. You can improve your sleep schedule in the following ways:
- Manage your sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Follow a simple routine for bedtime that signals rest such as dimming the light or turning it off, taking a bath, and drinking a cup of herbal tea.
- As soon as you wake up, expose yourself to light.
- Sleep in a dark and cool room.
- Avoid using electronics and smartphones before sleeping.
- Pen down your thoughts on a piece of paper before sleeping so that if you wake up in the middle of the night, you can tell your mind that it is already written and you’ll be tackling it in the morning.
4- Try Some Physical Activity
Physical activity is proven to boost your mood, and reduce stress and other symptoms of depression. About 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise daily is enough for this purpose. Start with 20 minutes and you can increase it to 60 minutes when needed. Getting outside daily for a few minutes can really improve your mood.
5- Try 10x10x10 Plan
When feeling depressed, it is normal to feel overwhelmed, unmotivated and lethargic. So, instead, of committing to a longer workout, it is better to break your time into chunks.
For example, let’s say you have a goal to walk for 30 minutes, you need to divide this time into 3 mini-workout of like 10 each minute. You can take one walk in the morning, one in the afternoon and then another in the evening.
6- Reach Out to Your Support System
Isolation and loneliness can worsen your winter blues. That is why you need your support system. Your support system includes family, friends, co-workers, or anyone you feel comfortable with. If the pandemic taught us something, it is how much socialization is important for our mental health.
So, if you are facing winter blues, it is important to spend time with someone who supports you as it is a definite key to help boost your mood.
7- Enjoy Sunlight
The symptoms of SAD or winter blues worsen due to the lack of sunlight. Therefore, it is very important to soak yourself in sunlight during winter.
If you are unable to go outdoors, you can move your chair, kitchen table, or workstation next to the window with sunlight. You need to aim to sit in it for two hours or at least one hour.
If not, you can also opt for light therapy. It is normally a recommended therapy for people diagnosed with SAD. You can also opt for Red Light Therapy beds, emitting red and near-infrared light, which is known to improve various skin and health conditions, including seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
8- Seek Help
If lifestyle modification and self-care are not helping you cope with the winter blues, you should never shy away from seeking professional help. Normally psychotherapy is highly recommended for the treatment of depressive disorders. CBT or cognitive-behavioral therapy is also proven to be efficient in the treatment of SAD. Either way, you should visit a certified psychologist to get a proper customized treatment plan.
Take Home Message,
Feeling sad is okay, infact having to face winter blues is okay as well. You don’t have to feel bad for something that is bothering your mental health. Just like your physical health, your mental health should be your priority and when you feel your mental health is deteriorating, you need to reach out to your support system or doctor.