It is normal to feel down during the winter time. The days are shorter, the sun isn’t always shining, and the holidays are over. The winter blues are generally characterized by a lack of energy and feelings of irritability, sadness and apathy.
Colder temperatures and fewer daylight hours are usually the root cause of winter blues. Other reasons can be lack of activity, changes in your diet or exercise routine, holiday stress, financial concerns, sudden loss or family issues.
There is a huge difference between winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter blues are shorter and less severe. SAD symptoms include: sadness, irritability, disrupted sleeping, changes in appetite, hopelessness, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in enjoyable activities and suicidal ideation. Seasonal Affective Disorder is serious and deserves professional attention.
Below are some ways to help you get out of the winter blues slump:
1. Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation and disrupted sleep are linked to feelings of depression. Getting back on a regular sleep cycle helps to stabilize your mood.
2. Move every day for at least 15 minutes: Skipping the gym during the winter season can be easy but exercising every day can enhance and boost your mood. If you do not have time for an hour long gym session, find time to do a 15 minute mini workout consisting of push-ups and jumping jacks, a quick HIIT routine, or a brisk afternoon walk.
3. Brighten your bedroom and office: A dawn stimulator works on a timer to gradually brighten your bedroom and has been shown to reduce feelings of seasonal depression.
4. Examine your daily diet: “The type of food you eat impacts your energy levels, sleep and immune functioning,” according to Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and co-host of the radio show “The Web”. Make small changes in your diet like adding more vegetables to your meals, cutting out processes sugar, and limiting your alcohol consumption.
5. Spend time with friends and loved ones: Try to surround yourself with friends and family. Avoid sitting at home alone and sulk in your sorrows. Social connection of any kind is valuable and helpful.
If you are clinically depressed it is important to reach out to a professional and get the help you need. When you reach out to Cosmo, our health insurance brokers in New Jersey spend all the time necessary to determine what your needs and priorities are. We are independent and offer plans from a large spectrum of reputable carriers. We explain your options in great detail and clarity– down to the fine print - so that you can choose a plan that will satisfy you for the long term.