Take Action to Beat Your Winter Blues

The “winter blues,” known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), is a type of depression that can potentially lead to serious problems when  left untreated. Experts believe that S.A.D is a physiological response caused by the changing seasons, usually in autumn or winter. Some researchers believe S.A.D. may also be attributed to a genetic predisposition. Other than seasonal transitions and genetics, the factors that experts believe increase the symptoms of S.A.D. can include any combination of reduced sunlight exposure, poor air quality and inadequate fitness habits.

In 1984, S.A.D was identified by Norman Rosenthal. Since Rosenthal’s theory, he and other experts have been able to study the causes and explore alternate treatment options. Research has revealed that insufficient sunlight is a major contributor; however, it is no longer thought to be the sole origin of the syndrome. Beat winter blues by learning the different causes. This condition is unfortunate but taking action can be the answer to how to beat winter blues.

How do I know if my depression is seasonal?

Symptoms of Depression

All depression types induce feelings and behaviors that can reduce an individual’s quality of life. As a result, many depression sufferers experience similar maladies and unpleasant emotions. Regardless of the specific symptoms, all patients report a distinctly negative impact on their lives. Some of the most commonly claimed symptoms include:

  • Changes in appetite (an increase or decrease, loss of appetite, atypical food cravings, etc.)
  • Changes in sleeping patterns (insomnia, excessive sleeping, irregular sleep schedule, etc.)
  • Lack of energy (constant fatigue, avoidance of daily activities, etc.)
  • Muscle soreness (increase in pain, development of aches etc.)
  • Reduced living satisfaction (feelings of: anxiety, hopelessness, despair, anger, etc.)

When intense cases of depression are left untreated, the results can be highly detrimental. In extreme circumstances, they can even be fatal.

Research suggests that a seasonal disorder can grow into a more severe depression. Many of the behaviors exhibited by people with S.A.D. are identical to those described by patients that have been diagnosed with chronic depression disorders. For this reason, learning the differences between S.A.D. and other mental conditions can be very worthwhile.

Identifying Seasonal Affective Disorder

The term “winter blues” was coined due to the disorder typically emerging during the colder months. In rare cases, a person may notice the effects during spring and summer. However, the condition is typically experienced when periods of sunlight are reduced.

The gradual shifting of the seasons can make the development of S.A.D. a very slow process. Unfortunately, this gradual change may make it difficult to notice the disorder until it becomes more severe. Catching the ailment before it reaches a detrimental level is both extremely beneficial and relatively simple.

Five Simple Tricks to Treat and Prevent S.A.D.

1. Exercise

Establishing and maintaining a workout schedule is beneficial to anyone. It can also reduce the symptoms associated with seasonal sadness. Exercise can also assist in prevention.

2. Eat Healthy

In many cases, patients reported a change in eating habits; specifically, a craving for carbohydrates. This craving makes weight gain typical for people that are seasonally affected. Coupled with exercise, healthy nutrition is an excellent deterrent to the condition.

3. Get Sunlight

Insufficient sunlight exposure is believed to be the leading cause of S.A.D. According to Harvard scholars, Vitamin D provided by the sunlight is essential for good health.

[box type=”note”]Weather permitting; it is recommended that you receive a minimum of 15 minutes of sunlight daily. [/box]

4. Breathe Clean, Fresh Air

The quality of the air that you breathe is a significant health determinant. Any person with allergies has experienced the effects that poor air quality can have on well-being.

Quality air purifiers can rid your home of harmful, air-borne irritants. Researching air purifier product reviews can help you to make a well-informed decision when shopping for an air filtration system.

Even if you live in a spacious environment, most companies offer an air purifier for a large room capable of filtering large, open spaces.

5. Diagnose and Prepare

If you have noticed depression symptoms in the past, take steps to prevent them from recurring. However, if the suggestions above do not improve your condition, it is advisable for you to seek medical consultation.

Regions that receive low amounts of sunlight in the daytime have higher accounts of S.A.D. If you live in an area such as this, awareness of the disorder can be the first step to treatment.

[box type=”note”]The winter blues can interfere with all aspects of life. Identifying the condition and taking steps to prevent or to treat S.A.D. can help ensure your health and happiness.[/box]


Author Bio:  Matthew Wainscott has a passion for writing. After finishing school, he pursued his career as a creative service provider. Matthew currently provides content to online organizations.

Contributing Author

This post was written by contributing author at Hive Health Media. If you would like to write for us about health, fitness, or blogging topics, click here.

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