Winter Depression got you down? Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as Seasonal Depression or Winter Depression? There are many ways to help cure Winter Depression. Winter Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder don't have to run your life. Find out easy ways to treat and cure Winter Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder right here...
Ahhhh...it's winter time again, and for millions of people, depression is beginning to rear it's filthy head. The "winter-time blues", technically known as seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), affects about 6% of Americans, according to American Academy of Family Physicians. I inexplicably started suffering from this condition around the age of 18, and have been dealing with it every winter since. I don't know if it's the lack of UV rays, the cold weather that I can't stand, or the lack of motivation to go outside...who am I kidding? It's all of the above. Seasonal depression just makes you feel like your body wasn't built for the winter cold weather, and sometimes causes you to go into what I call "hibernation mode", where all you want to do is sleep and stay inside. Other winter depression symptoms include fatigue, stress, avoiding social situations, and general depression.
If you suffer from SAD, and you don't want - or don't have the money - to go see a doctor, or just don't want to take medication, take a look at the steps in this article. These methods will make a difference in your life...and will keep those winter blues in check.
Note: These are in no certain order, the effectiveness of each method varies from person to person.
5.) Light Therapy
Seasonal depression can be cured with light? Sounds a bit odd, I know, but you would be pleasantly surprised at how alive, motivated, and energetic you feel when you tan a couple times a week during the winter months to help with seasonal depression. Though tanning should be a last resort and is recommended as such. A safer method would be to purchase special lights for seasonal depression sufferers that emit light similar to the sun's, called seasonal affective disorder lights. You won't risk skin cancer and they work just as well or better than tanning, plus you can use them at home.
The UV rays from tanning beds and seasonal affective disorder lights act as a natural mood enhancer, especially when you have some Vitamin D in your system. Most of the reason you feel depressed in the winter is due to the lack of sunlight, being that the sun is further away from the earth during these months and you tend to stay inside more. Get some good old fashioned UV rays by purchasing the SAD lights for your home. Typically, 45 minutes of this light on the eyes tends to relieve general winter depression symptoms.
4.) Eat Healthy
Since you're more apt to stay inside as much as possible being a seasonal depression sufferer, you might as well start cooking more often. Eating healthy, nutritious, well-balanced meals regularly has been proven to naturally enhance your mood and give you more energy. With all the junk we eat in this day and age it's no wonder so many people suffer from general or seasonal depression (not to say that's the only cause of course).
Get some whole grains, complex carbs, lean protein, and essential vitamins, minerals, and other anti-oxidants like omega-3 and CoQ10 into your body and in about a week you'll start feeling like a new person. You will be enhancing your mood as well as kicking your fatigue right in the butt.
3.) Pick Up A Hobby
This is a strategy that is a lot easier after you have started doing either of the previous steps. It's not always easy to just pick up a hobby and stick with it when you lack motivation or have fatigue issues. Although, once you find a hobby you like, you will notice a change in your general mood.
There are a plethora of hobbies to choose from online such as poker, addicting game sites like Pogo.com, or freelance writing to name a few. Maybe you like movies, make a list of all the movies that you've never seen but always wanted to, and then just go from there. Or, if you haven't already got one, try investing in an Xbox or PS3 and playing with people online from all over the world. There are so many fun games out nowadays, it's almost ridiculous...almost.
You can even combine this method with the previous one and make a hobby out of cooking. Just find something to keep you busy and entertained. You can't just sit around watching TV or surfing the web with no real purpose all day.
2.) Get Some Exercise
Exercising is a great way to uplift your spirits and give you more energy and motivation. In the summer, it's a lot easier to get exercise because you like going outside more and you have more energy. However, in the winter months, it's not as easy. You might try investing in a home gym or a gym membership. You will notice a positive change in your overall mood if you do this. If anything, you can always do push-ups or sit-ups until you can afford a better regiment. Any exercise is better than no exercise.
1.) Seek Professional Help
I'm sorry to say, but if none of the above methods made a difference for you, and your depression is affecting your daily life - especially year round - you should see a physician. You may need counseling, you may need medication, because you may have a chemical imbalance in your brain that no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to do anything about. A psychiatrist can evaluate your level of depression and determine the best way to treat it.
Being a sufferer of winter depression, seasonal depression, seasonal affective disorder, seasonal depression disorder - whatever it's called - myself, I hope you can find a method that works for you as I know how hard it can be. Winter depression is not fun, not fun at all. One should be able to enjoy life to the fullest, in EVERY season. It's not fair to Old Man Winter to leave him out in the cold like that.