The short days of the long winter months send many people into seasonal depression.
The financial stress incurred by many after Christmas along with bad weather both contribute to what's commonly called the "winter blues". Feeling down and blue in the winter months is a symptom of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and is depression that is limited to the winter months.
For those affected by SAD, here are three tips to help you get through the winter
1) Shed some light on it: Try getting a SAD lamp to help boost levels of serotonin which affects our happiness, body temperature and sleep. Experts recommend using the SAD lamp for 20 to 40 minutes each day until the days start getting longer.
2) Say goodbye to coffee: If you start your day off with a cup of Joe for the caffeine kick, you are likely contributing to your blue feeling. Caffeine has been found to suppress levels of serotonin. If you just can't do without that caffeine boost, try switching to tea since it has less caffeine than coffee. And black or green tea both contain theanine which can help with focus and attention.
3) Get up and get moving: Past studies have shown that being physically active can be as beneficial as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. Even taking short breaks for a quick walk around the block can be beneficial.
So don't suffer through the winter months anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring. Try implementing these tips to help lift your spirits.