Is the gloom of the winter months getting to you? If the weather is constantly overcast it may lead to depression in some people.
Not getting out of the house, spending most of your time sleeping, suffering from aches in various parts of the body, constant exhaustion and malaise are among the primary symptoms of this condition. Being impatient in your relations with others, having a short temper and experiencing communication problems are further symptoms of depression.
How to deal with winter blues
When suffering from the winter blues you can feel desperate, pessimistic and despondent. You might also have difficulty in focusing and experience an increase in anxiety. There are some practical methods that can help you deal with these negative feelings and thoughts. These methods may stop depression from getting the better of you during the winter.
What should you do?
Exercise regularly and keep yourself active. In addition to the fact that exercising regularly is essential to maintaining one’s weight and a healthy body, it is also a great way to deal with stress. Regular physical activity accelerates the metabolism, helping you feel energetic all day long. Regular physical activity during the winter months increases the release of the chemicals that make a person feel good. As a result, you are more likely to be in a good mood.
See people who you enjoy being with more frequently. Positive psychological support provided by friends and family is important for getting rid of the winter blues. Spending less time with unhappy, pessimistic people will help you maintain a positive mindset.
Don’t spend all your time sleeping. People are prone to sleeping more during the winter months. This can leave both your brain and your body feeling sluggish. Sleeping too much can also make you feel even more tired, which can only make the psychological situation worse. Having a 10 or 20-minute nap during the day instead of sleeping for too long will help you to feel more energetic throughout the day.
Eat regularly and maintain a balanced diet. A healthy and balanced diet affects a person’s mood and energy levels. Some foods cause emotional fluctuations and can affect concentration. Excessive amounts of sugar, white bread and carbohydrates, in particular, can cause severe emotional fluctuations. Having a regular and balanced diet will help you to steer clear of emotional ups and downs.
Spend more time outside the house. Winter lasts longer than the other seasons, and it gets dark earlier than the rest of the year. Therefore, people spend less time outside during the winter and are exposed to less daylight. This situation can make you more pessimistic and can contribute to psychological problems. For this reason, spending more time outside and choosing to sit by windows might help to make you feel better.
Spare time for yourself. People don’t spare a lot of time for themselves within the busy daily routine of working or attending meetings. However, keeping at least one hour for yourself every day enables you to get away from the hustle and bustle of the day, opening a window for reflection and allowing you to breathe more freely.
*Fatih Sönmez is a psychologist at Memorial Suadiye Medical Center.