Don't Let The Autumn/Winter Blues Ruin Your Mood
You'll realize that many people seem to be depressed, sad, melancholic, or irritable. As the fall/winter season closes in, it can cause something known as the 'winter depression' or 'seasonal affective disorder' (SAD). It's basically a sensitivity some people develop due to a lack of light, cold weather, and the general negative aspects of the cold season. The symptoms vary but usually include depression, constant fatigue, melancholy moods, mood swings, loneliness, and sadness.
If you've ever felt like this, you know it kinda sucks - big time. That's why it's important for our health to push through this and to stay positive. That can be difficult since it's been scientifically proven that as the climate and weather starts to change, humans actually start to feel gloomy and miserable. I'll skip the statistics, but in some countries, up to 20% of the population experiences the winter blues.
So how do we avoid feeling gloomy and depressed?
Try Light Therapy - basically, it means getting more light into your home and spending more time outdoors during daylight.
To ease the symptoms of winter depression and SAD, you need to be exposed to 2,500 lux (lux is a measurement of the intensity of light). Unfortunately, offices and most rooms in the house get around 300 lux. Imagine that on a sunny summer day, there can be a maximum of 100,000 lux! No wonder if you're getting less light, it can be a mood dampener.
What you can do:
1. Add more lamps / lights with stronger lightbulbs. Think about adding more bedside lamps around the house for extra light. Of course, you should keep the lamps stylish!
(the lamp is an affiliate link)
2. Keep your blinds up and allow natural light to come in through all the windows while there is daylight, even on rainy or gloomy days. Natural light is the best kind of light for your health.
3. Go outside. By simply walking outdoors, you'll be exposed to natural light, even some sunshine. Try outdoor exercises like jogging, fitness, or outdoor sports like skating, skiing, and hiking. Exercising releases endorphins which are mood boosters.
4. Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Ok, you can have a glass of wine or a beer, even some mulled wine, but the idea is that drinking heavily or too often will actually make you feel more depressed.
5. Eat your vegetables. This is a no-brainer, but having a healthy diet in the winter is essential. Many people tend to eat less fruit and vegetables and indulge in more fast food and meat. You should keep a balanced diet which is rich in vitamins.
6. Get excited about the festive season. It doesn't matter if you celebrate Christmas or not, but there are many things to get excited about in the winter. Participate in all the fun winter activities like sledding, baking, drinking hot chocolate, visiting family and shopping. Of course, there are many more things to do in the winter, but that's for another post! Don't be a Grinch and be happy and celebratory.