Winter blues, or ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder' is a psychological condition that affects people with little or no history of mental health problems. The disorder can evoke depressive behaviour and emotions throughout most of the year, from spring and autumn to winter and summer. Doctors have noted that seasonal affective disorder is a specifier of major depression, and not a unique mood disorder.
In response to the reduced availability of food in the winter months, many animal species revert to hibernation to see though the cold weather. Even animals that don't hibernate have been seen to exhibit changes in their behaviour as they reduce their activity in winter, and scientists have argued that seasonal affective disorder is an evolved adaptation or a hibernation response to seasonal conditions. Experts presume that during human prehistory, emotions tended to run low during times of nutritional hardship, and they even believe that a reduced calorie intake in women combined with the presence of SAD somehow had an effect on reproduction regulation.
Modern medicine has provided a number of treatments for classic seasonal affective disorder, including ionized air, cognitive behavioural therapy and melatonin supplementation. When combined with any of these treatments, exercise has also shown to be an effective course of action. Every sufferer of seasonal affective disorder responds differently to the condition however, and according to the SADA (seasonal affective disorder association), these top tips could help you beat those winter blues.
We know how hard it is to face the outdoors when you're depressed, but exposure to natural sunlight can really work wonders for your emotions when suffering from SAD. As well has going outside at least twice a day, trying painting your walls in pale colours that reflects light from outside – if you don't want to go outside, bring the outside into your home!
As we said before, regular exercise is a great way to beat those winter blues, and combined with medication, you really will feel better in no time at all. Light treatment for SAD includes walking for an hour every day.
It's a well-known fact that cold weather is an instigator for depression, and research has shown that keeping warm has the potential to reduce SAD symptoms by 50 per cent. If you're looking for a nice new comfy bed to dive into, have a look online for a cheap double mattress It's also best to stay hydrated, so try and consume hot drinks as well as hot food. Thick socks and warm shoes are a must too.
A nutritious diet is a sure way to beat those winter blues, so make sure your body is stocked with energy and vitamins. We all get cravings for carbs, but too much pasta or bread could see you sink deeper into depression. In order to combat SAD, eat plenty of fish, red meat, fruit and vegetables. Some sufferers also recommend vitamin D tablets to keep you feeling good.