Beat Winter Blues This Way to Feel Great

Some people are more susceptible to seasonal changes than others, be it physical health or emotional well-being — they seem to suffer when the weather changes. If you have been feeling low spirited in these months, don’t dismiss it thinking you are imagining it. If you are susceptible to every change of season, and it affects your moods; you should see a psychiatrist to rule out seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There are several things you can do to beat the winter blues.

What Is SAD?

It is one the most appropriately named acronyms since SAD is recognizable by its overarching sense of sadness. If it is accompanied by a feeling of worthlessness, despair, and even guilt, there is definitely cause for concern. SAD will be discussed in a later blog. However, you should seek the help a therapist to overcome the disorder. If you need any medical intervention, your psychiatrist will prescribe the requisite medicine/s, as well as the counselor you might need to consult.

Winter Does Make You Sleep Longer

If you have been sleeping longer hours in winter, it might easily be a normal bodily reaction to the changed day timings. Since the sun shows up for shorter hours, the body thinks it is time to rest. Plus, it is natural to desire within the warmth of the quilts, rather than venture out into the cold. It’s when such lethargy goes overboard, and your daily chores and activities are adversely affected, then you know you must be proactive about reversing it.

Do this: Keep your hours regular. Sleep at the same time every day, and awaken at the hour you would normally in the summer. Work days and weekends should not have different timings. It keeps your body clock and Arcadian rhythm running smoothly. Though few people realize it, irregular hours — cheating on sleep and oversleeping — damage your bodily functions. When your bodily functions are normal, you will automatically feel more cheerful. If you feel sleep deprived, take a short nap during the day, if it is possible.

Increase Activity Levels, Especially in the Morning

From going for the morning jog or walk to hitting the gym for a vigorous workout, or simply joining a dance class — anything that increases your activity levels, and sets your heart pumping blood briskly is good for you. Dance away your blues. You don’t need to compete in a competition, but use dancing as a means to release the happy hormones in your system. However, there are some restrictions in case you have recently undergone any major surgery, or suffer from some serious illness like asthma or any cardiac disorder.

Consult your doctor: Remember to consult your doctor before beginning any vigorous activity. Any sensible will recommend some exercise routine to improve your condition, especially some kind of workout which improves the circulation of blood in your body. Even a lunchtime stroll is better than lounging in your chair.

Laugh Your Way to Find Health

Join a laughter club, watch plenty of comedy shows and films, and read humorous pieces in periodicals. If you prefer to do your reading online, check out some of the funniest books — satires might be counterproductive unless you have picked on someone like Lewis Carrol or George Bernard Shaw. Check out funny videos of babies doing the crazy stuff only kids are capable of, or sports’ hilarious moments — football funnies, comic moments in cricket — to have you chuckling, or even chortling. Not only does laughing heartily cheer you up, but many of your internal organs also get much-needed exercise when you laugh out loud. If you spend a good deal of time on social media, check out the latest memes and some classic ones too.

Eat Sensibly to Drive Away the Blues

Many people tend to overeat to fight depression. What’s worse, they binge on the most harmful foods, especially fast foods which provide little nutrition, and are extremely fattening. Snack on nuts like kaju and walnuts, or muesli; breakfast on oats; munch on fresh fruits like apples, grapes, oranges, strawberries, and bananas when you feel nibbles. Bananas and oats are major mood swingers without harming you. However, if you are diabetic, you might want to go easy on the bananas. Add beetroots to your salads.

Add these to your daily diet: Avocados, fish, leafy vegetables, dry fruits, asparagus, coconut, and sesame seeds should form a part of your menu to ensure you get appropriate nutrition, and your body has enough to gnaw on. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and dark chocolate also help fight depression. And, that hot cuppa is most welcome on a day full of the shivers, especially chamomile tea. Take a vitamin supplement if the doctor advises it.

Socialize, Meet Old Friends, and Relatives

Make the most of the festive season to socialize, unless you are the kind who gets tied into knots about what to wear, and what menu to serve your guests. Meet people who increase your sense of self-worth. Look at old photographs and laugh at family jokes. Get a message. Take up a new hobby, meditate, develop your neglected skills, decorate your home. Talk to your loved ones more. Visit a museum.

If you decide to be cheerful even in winter, nothing and nobody can prevent it.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors