Avoiding the Winter Blues

Beating Sad Winter Blues Feelings

In winter, the wind blows, bringing with it rain and often cold and snowy weather.  When it’s windy, cold, raining or perhaps even snowing outside, our mood can lower significantly.  

Avoid the winter blues

Along with these seasonal depression feelings, our physical energy levels can also decrease dramatically.  This seasonal disorder, or winter depression can take a huge toll on our winter health and wellbeing, and we need to look for different ways of staying healthy in winter.

SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder

The medical term for the winter blues is Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD). 

One of the most common causes of seasonal depression is wintertime when many of us suffer from the seasonal disorder, perhaps better known as cold winter depression or winter blues.

Sad Winter
Seasonal Depression

So, what is the best way of beating sad feelings in wintertime?

TIPS FOR AVOIDING THE WINTER BLUES or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

There are many different reasons why people suffer with seasonal depression or the wintertime blues syndrome.  Those who are affected with the clinical version of seasonal depression, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), are affected much more severely.  People who feel they may be suffering from SAD, should consult a medical professional.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in most cases is created by seasonal changes, usually commencing in the fall, and continuing through winter into late spring or perhaps early summer.  Signs of SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder are… lower energy, feeling moody and depressed, feelings of unworthiness, troublesome thoughts and having trouble sleeping, diet and weight changes, and perhaps jittery, anxious feelings.  On some days you may feel OK but when these seasonal depression sad winter blues are much more frequent and don’t seem normal, it’s time to book an appointment with your doctor.  

7 TIPS ON HOW TO AVOID THE WINTER BLUES

overcome the winter blues

1 INCREASE VITAMIN D INTAKE

Vitamin D is important for improving winter health. Vitamin D helps maintain the body’s blood sugar levels and is vital for immune system boosting.  You may have a greater risk of seasonal depression if you mostly stay indoors during the colder months.  Sunlight plays an important role in helping the body absorb vitamin D and avoiding the winter blues, as it plays a key role in regulating our mood.

Health Wealth and Happiness
beating the winter blues

Therefore, to avoid the seasonal depression, winter blues symptoms, take advantage of the sun when it is shining.  Get outside and increase your exposure to sunlight as this will improve your winter health.

When the sun is shining, get outside, take advantage of it and increase your exposure to sunlight.

For warding off the seasonal depression, increase your dietary intake of vitamin D-rich foods plus those with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids such as oily fish… salmon, tuna, mackerel and cod fish.  Cod liver oil is an excellent source of vitamin D, especially for staying healthy in winter.

Eggs are another good source of Vitamin D to ward off the winter blues.  Most of the vitamins and proteins are found in the yolk of the egg.  Eggs are very nutritious and a great winter health food for beating sad feelings or seasonal depression.  Buying eggs labelled “free range eggs” or “direct from the farm” is a good policy, as these are far better quality eggs.

2 EXERCISE

Staying active during the winter months especially outside during daylight hours will help brush off the winter blues.  Get your gumboots on, go for a 30-minute walk taking in the fresh air.  This will not only help you sleep better, but improve your seasonal depression symptoms and contribute to staying healthy in winter.

keeping yourself fit

One of the best ways to combat the wintertime blues is to exercise indoors.  A light-weight training program, step exercises on the stairs, joining an online dance or exercise class will all keep you active during winter.  Whilst staying healthy in winter people, may even find that their seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may diminish as they increase exercise.

Have fun in the snow

Joining a shopping centre walking group is another great way of staying healthy in winter, while meeting new friends and mixing with others, as well as staving off the winter blues.

3 EAT WARM WINTER FOODS.

We know that getting out into the sunshine is one of the best sources of Vitamin D for beating sad winter blues, but so too is eating a pot full of steamy hot winter health foods.   Hot-pots full of healthy broths made from chicken, fish or beef, and packed with healthy nutritious vegetables are a good way to ward off the winter blues.

winter soup

Staying healthy in winter is one of the best ways of combating the onset of seasonal depression mood feelings.  There is nothing better on a cold dreary day to fight off the winter blues than a delicious healthy root vegetable spicy soup to warm your soul… or a slow-cooked chicken and vegetable soup to diminish the winter blues.

Hot-pots can be enjoyed by the fire in winter with the family while playing games, reading or watching a funny movie.  It’s a great way of improving winter health and also beating sad, seasonal depression.

4 POSITIVE THINKING.

We know that What We Think Greatly Affects Our Mood

When the annual seasonal depression plagues our mind with unhelpful, unhealthy thoughts, or unhealthy behaviours arise, it’s time to deal with the winter blues with some winter health strategies.

Mentally staying healthy in winter requires swapping any winter depression thoughts or sad winter blues for positive thinking strategies.  Immediately exchanging any seasonal depression thinking from sad winter thoughts to positive ones, greatly enhances the possibilities for staying healthy in winter.

Focusing on motivating affirmative action helps in beating sad or negative thinking pattens.

These brain training exercises focus on the positives… Look for the positives in everything

When unhelpful, unhealthy thoughts or behaviours arise, the brain needs to build strong neural networks that send positive information and thought patterns.  Our cognitive function has the ability to process factual information, not ideas based on imagination or hearsay rumour.  Positive thoughts, thinking and reason need to be in line with what is and not on what is not and may never be.  Here are three positive thought strategies…

5 LAUGHTER (The Best Medicine).

We all need to laugh more.  Watch a funny movie and laugh your head off.  There’s nothing like a good belly laugh to subdue sad seasonal winter blues.  Invite friends over and laugh about fun times. This is a great way of staying healthy in winter and good therapy for sad seasonal depression.

The old saying is true, “laughter is the best medicine”.  Laughter stimulates the brain processes as it triggers emotional and physical changes in the body.  Laughter can relieve stress, tension and reduce the winter blues.  Laughter boosts your mood and strengthens the immune system while it helps alleviate winter depression anxieties.

6 REGULAR SLEEP ROUTINE

It’s always tempting, when it’s cold, snowing or there are cloudy skies outside, to sleep at odd hours.  Staying up late or getting up late in the morning can upset your internal sleeping clock and may contribute to the winter blues.

Sleep away the Winter Blues

To lessen your winter blues, it’s always best to stick to a regular sleep routine.  It will greatly enhance your mood and reduce any seasonal blues.  It will take a few days to adjust your internal alarm clock, but in the long run, it may help ward off sad seasonal affective disorder as well as improve your general winter health.

If you have cause to stay up late one evening, try to keep getting up at the same regular time each morning.  A regular sleeping routine is one of the keys to beating sad, wintertime blues.  Why not make it a habit to read for a while before your regular bedtime?

7 SET GOALS FOR THE FUTURE

When it’s cold and miserable weather outside, it’s the perfect time for setting goals and planning for the future.  It’s always a good idea to write down your goals and plans for the future.  It helps you focus on the future.  

Staying healthy in winter, by keeping your mind active and setting goals, making plans or writing a book, helps to keep your brain active.  Focusing on idea creation is one of the best ways to combat any winter blues.

Setting goals keeps you focused on the end result and helps in beating sad, winter depression. Everyone needs goals that motivate the mind, taking the attention off any sad, anxious feelings that may result from seasonal depression or winter blues.  Setting goals takes your mind off troublesome thoughtsthat may plague you and helps you achieve something that you may have always wanted to do.  

Writing down your goals helps cement your dreams and future aspirations into possible outcomes.  The more you plan and think about your goals, daily or monthly, the more likely you will turn your dreams into reality.

A Dream Written Down

Disclaimer:

The above comments are not intended as medical advice and should not be taken as such.  If you feel you may be suffering from clinical depression, you should seek professional medical advice.

Read more about Maintaining Good Health

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