It’s that time of year again, darkness comes earlier, it is getting cold and windy bring on depression. We don’t want to go out side unless we have to work or go to the store.It is when so many of us suffer the winter blues. Depression is a problem that no one want to talk about. How do you feel especially around the holidays? It is so hard to be around those we love and not feel like a burden. How do we beat the winter blues? Can we take control of depression before it takes a strong hold on our lives?
Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD was studied by Norman E. Rosenthal M.D his study found that some of us are effected by winter depression, he goes on to say that some of our body rhythms are effected by the hours we are exposed to sun light. Aches,pains and the blues can increase by the lack of day light.I didn’t need a study to show that, I live it every year. Do you?
What can we do?
- Educate yourself on depression.
- Getting up earlier so that you are exposed to more day light hours can help.
- Planning more social events in the evening.
- Set a regular bedtime.
Once you understand that depression can happen to anyone at anytime throughout ones life. Finding ways to cope with the blues during winter months can also be helpful throughout the year. The closer you get to spring the symptoms of depression will get less and less. Their are supplements that can help depression speak to your doctor he or she maybe able to help. These increase the oxygen that is absorbed by red blood cells increasing the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain.
I have found that any thing you can do to increase the dopamine in your brain can help with any type of the blues. I get up earlier and take a walk in the sunlight with my dogs,I plan activities during the daylight so my evenings are free for family and friends. By scheduling holidays and school events ahead of time it gives me things to look forward to. As the holidays wrap up depression will creep up on me again. This is when I increase my exercise program and plan a trip. Going somewhere warm when it is so cold outside is just the ticket to ending the winter blues and the exercise helps me feel better by increasing the dopamine. Fitting into clothing made for warm weather is an added plus.
As we go through the seasons we find that our moods will go up and down some of us are effected more then others. Live each day to its fullest knowing that spring is on its way. Planing what you are going to do before the blues start will give you a better way of dealing with the months ahead. I am a person that feels better with knowing as much as I can about everything that effects my physical and mental health. I am always looking for ways to improve my knowledge this keeps my mind moving forward keeping it in a learning mode. Knowledge is one thing that can not be taken from you, it helps to raise your self esteem by adding valuable information that can be shared with other that hold the same interest.
The winter blues is depression that comes and goes and for those of us that suffer from depression, it feels like it will never end. If you find yourself or someone you love with symptoms of depression winter or chronic please seek the help that is available through The Mental Health Assoc. or get a referral from you family doctor. Please empower yourself, you are in control of your health.
I am strong and courageous. I am not afraid or discouraged, because the Lord my God is with me to help me fight my battles. 2 CHRONICLES 32:7-8 (NIV)