SAD: Follow These Strategies To Fight Winter Blues
Here we share some simple strategies you can implement for better mental wellbeing and to fight off winter blues.
Establish realistic goals or projects to keep yourself motivated and engaged throughout the winter
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons. It typically starts and ends around the same time each year, usually during the fall and winter months when there is less sunlight. SAD is thought to be caused by a lack of sunlight, which can disrupt the body's internal clock and lead to feelings of depression. Read on as we share some simple strategies you can implement for better mental wellbeing and to fight off winter blues.
9 Strategies to help fight off winter blues this winter:
1. Light therapy
Increase exposure to natural or artificial light to regulate mood and combat the lack of sunlight during winter. Using a specially designed lightbox, which mimics natural sunlight, can help in managing SAD symptoms. Exposing yourself to this bright light for about 30 minutes to 2 hours each day can be beneficial.
2. Exercise regularly
Engaging in physical activity greatly boosts mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, even if its indoor activities like yoga or dancing. Engaging in regular physical activity releases endorphins and can help improve symptoms of depression.
3. Get outside
On sunny days, spend time outdoors to soak up natural light, even if it's just for a short walk during daylight hours. Whenever possible, try to spend time outdoors during daylight hours. Even if it's cloudy, natural light can still have a positive impact on your mood.
4. Maintain a healthy diet
A well-balanced diet can play a role in managing mood and energy levels. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds, which have been linked to improved mood. Avoid excessive consumption of sugary and processed foods.
5. Stay connected
Socialise with family and friends regularly to combat loneliness and maintain a support system. Join clubs, classes, or online communities to stay engaged with others.
6. Set goals and have a routine
Establish realistic goals or projects to keep yourself motivated and engaged throughout the winter months. Accomplishing these goals can boost your mood and sense of achievement. Having a consistent daily routine helps regulate your body's internal clock. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends. This can help stabilise your mood and increase your overall well-being.
7. Socialise and seek professional help
Stay connected with friends and family. Engage in activities or hobbies that you enjoy, and seek support from loved ones or join support groups if needed. If symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are severe or impacting daily life, consult a mental health professional.
8. Increase indoor lighting
Ensure your home or workplace is well-lit with bright lights to combat the darkness and create a more positive environment.
9. Embrace winter activities
Engage in activities specific to the winter season, such as ice skating, skiing, or building snowmen. Embracing and enjoying the unique aspects of winter can help shift your mindset.
It's important to consult with a healthcare professional to receive an accurate diagnosis and develop an individualised treatment plan if you suspect you may be experiencing SAD or any depressive symptoms during the winter months.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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