Are you feeling the blues this winter season? Find out why you may be suffering from seasonal depression and what you can do to ease symptoms.
With cooler temps and less time to catch those glorious rays of light, you may feel a bit off and under the weather. Truth is, suffering from seasonal depression is not uncommon, and it actually affects a large number of the population around the world.
Luckily, going through the motions of seasonal depression does not have to be extra challenging, because there are many things that you can do right at home to deal with the symptoms.
The term seasonal depression refers to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression that is strictly related to the changes in seasons, and that begin and ends at the same time of the year, every year.
The majority of patients suffering from season depression start feeling the symptoms in the Fall and all throughout Winter, making them feel moody, with lack of energy and with a sense of lethargy and sadness.
In most cases, one is able to identify the symptoms of the “winter blues” by paying close attention to the appearance of any of the following sensations or changes:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Losing interest in common activities
- Feeling sad or depressed most of the day without a proper cause
- Feeling lethargic
- Having epodes of agitation
- Changes in the sleeping pattern, usually not being able to sleep easily
- Having low energy
- Changes in appetite
- Feelings of hopelessness, guilt
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Anxiety and changes in behavior
- Social withdrawal
While these symptoms of seasonal depression can be quite daunting, there are many things that you can do to ease out the situation. In fact, there are also natural remedies for seasonal affective disorder that you can do right away to help yourself.
If you are wondering how to treat seasonal depression, the first step you should take is talking to your Psychologist or Psychotherapist who has the tools, the experience and the training to help you address the situation.
This is important because during therapy you will be able to express how you feel and identify which are your actual symptoms, when (during the season) they seem to arise more strongly and whether or not these are signs of seasonal affective disorder or of another from of depression.
In addition to going to therapy and addressing your seasonal depression, there are natural remedies for seasonal affective disorder that can be done alongside your therapeutic sessions. Some of the most recommended ones include:
Because seasonal depression is often during winter, it is believed that the change in natural light duration throughout the day, and the lack of longer rays of light to provide Vitamin D, can cause the feelings of sadness. Light therapy uses an artificial light box to replace the natural one, and its beam can be enjoyed in the comfort of your sofa without worrying about the cold temps outside.
Believe it or not, essential oils have proven to be powerful brain stimulants that can influence our moods and our body’s internal clock, enhancing the way we perceive time, our appetite, our behavior and even easing out depressive symptoms.
While the cold may be a challenge the first few times you try it, staying active is a great way of helping your mood levels change. Whether you decide to go for a jog during the light of day, or go your gym or favorite fitness class, working out helps your body produce endorphins, those “feeling good” hormones.
If it is within your means, taking a short vacation to a warmer, sunnier place during this time of year can change drastically how you feel. In addition, this time allows you to strengthen your family bonds and your friendships.
Take natural supplements
After consulting with your Psychologist and your Physician, taking natural supplements and vitamins, such as Vitamin D, may have a positive impact on how your body feels and on your mood.
Learning how to treat seasonal depression is not too hard or complicated, and again – this is a very common situation – so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed or alone. There are many ways through which you can find comfort and be able to enjoy this time of year.