During the winter months, it’s easy to feel as though dreary days have overstayed their welcome. Even though we live in a warmer climate, we may experience a sense of sadness and despair more often during the winter due to shorter daylight hours.
Sometimes, irritability or anxiety, disturbances in sleep patterns, and a loss of energy are signs that may point to Seasonal Affective Disorder. This can be combated by spending more time in daylight, remaining engaged with your community, staying active, and varying your diet.
For more details on how to work through a season of winter blues, keep reading!
- Go outside for short periods of time or let the light inside. One way we can help our bodies adjust to the lack of daylight is to take advantage of the times when the sun is shining. If you are feeling down during the winter months, go outside for short breaks whenever possible. Even a few minutes in natural sunlight will help.
- If it’s too cold to go outside or if mobility concerns are an issue, open curtains and blinds as much as possible to let the sun shine indoors. Enjoy regular leisure activities near a window for an added boost.
- Engage with your community. While spending time with others may not seem appealing in the midst of winter doldrums, engaging with community is an effective means to improving your mood. Whether you’re able to take part in group activities where you live or just spend time with one or two trusted friends, a bit of time with others will help shift your mindset.
- Be as active as possible. When we move our bodies, it helps adjust our mental well-being. If you don’t already have a fitness routine, look into the options available to you for staying active. With the new year, many more options, such as community classes, may be available. Even walking a little more each day could be of great benefit.
- Vary your diet to gain better nutrients. Whenever possible, try to add more nutrient-dense foods to your meals. It’s tempting to add carbs and treats in an attempt to comfort ourselves through seasonal sadness, but this doesn’t alleviate the depression in the long term. Instead, choose to add more leafy greens or quality fruits into your meals or snacks.
Of course, if you or a loved one is experiencing the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, such as long-term irritability and anxiety, sleep disturbances, and a loss of energy, we’re here for you too! Whether it’s helping with on-site care or working together with you and your family to determine an action plan, you can rely on us … we’re there when you need us.