Since the switch to wintertime, the night falls earlier and the sun is infrequent. Some people feel they never see the light of day. The lack of natural light prevents the body from synthesizing vitamin D, which influences the mood.
As a result, some people suffer from seasonal depression in autumn and winter. The symptoms resemble those of a “classic” depression, namely a lack of energy and motivation despite long nights of sleep, decreased libido, increased appetite, and social isolation.
here is our advice to avoid this mood drop:
1- Bet On Colors
The temptation to match clothes to mood is strong. That’s why autumn quickly turns into a parade of black, gray or brown coats. To help you keep smiling, opt for warm colors like red, orange and yellow, which help fight melancholy.
2- Try Light Therapy
People who regularly suffer from seasonal depression can benefit from effective preventive treatment, light therapy. Easy to practice, either at home with a specific lamp or institute, this solution compensates for the lack of light and its side effects.
For who? Those with whom the blow of blues is accompanied by a feeling of sadness, difficulties to get up in the morning … Even if the origins of the seasonal depression are still badly known, one of the causes would be the fall of the intensity and duration of daylight, which would disrupt the biological clock.
How does it work? The ideal is to expose oneself to the light of day, at least 30 min. Otherwise, light therapy lamps replace this exposure.
How do you do it? A light therapy device with CE medical marking of at least 10 000 lux is chosen. One places oneself at a good distance, without looking at the light directly and one exposes oneself progressively: 10, 15, then 30 min per day, for 4 weeks.
Light therapy is contraindicated in case of eye injury or eye disease that may increase sensitivity to light. The advice of a doctor is essential if you take treatment.
3- Enjoy The Sun When It Shines
When the brightness decreases, every opportunity to spend time outdoors promotes the production of good mood hormones. Gardening, walks, outings of dogs, meetings with friends … organize yourself to expose yourself as much as possible to the sun, without forgetting to protect your skin with anti-UV cream.
4- Continue To Exercise And Eat Well
When greyness sets in, it’s harder to maintain the good workout and healthy eating habits. The second portion of apple pie and the bag of chips are much more tempting than the idea of putting on your boots and coat for a walk in the rain (or snow) in the evening when it is already dark in your exit from the office.
Here are some tips for maintaining your good habits:
- Get out walk just about noon, park a little further, you turn on your property to collect leaves, shovel your driveway or another task if you are able.
- Find yourself a training partner (you will be less tempted not to go!)
- If you do not want to play sports outside, subscribe to the gym, a dance class, anything you want to do. Or, if you have enough motivation, adopt the training videos online
- Watch your portions. Allow yourself to eat a little bit of everything, just decrease the quantities. It will save you from ingesting too many calories without causing you frustration either.
- Hydrate yourself properly. Often, when it’s cold, we tend to drink less, but do not let go. Add herbal teas and teas to your routine, in addition to warming you up, they will help you stay hydrated.
5- Try Psychotherapy
According to a study by The American Journal of Psychiatry, cognitive-behavioral therapy would be effective for treating seasonal depression. If you have the opportunity, start psychotherapy with a therapist with this approach to help you better manage the lack of light.
This form of therapy would have long-term effects on the symptoms of seasonal depression. That’s a good investment for your mental and physical health.
6- Lastly Try Medication
It is possible that, despite all your efforts to counteract seasonal depression, you need medication to make you feel better. Most of the time, we talk about antidepressants that your doctor can prescribe depending on the severity of your symptoms.
Remember that seasonal depression is a disease like any other and that it may be necessary to treat it with pills. And it’s not because your neighbor can overcome the symptoms that you can. Listen to your body and respect your limits. If the medication is a solution for you, do not deprive yourself of it, although it may be difficult to come to this conclusion.
Learn More About Seasonal Affective Disorder