Not only is depression a real and underrated condition, so is SAD (seasonal affective disorder) that is popularly known as winter depression or winter blues. Only because it is called winter depression, it doesn’t mean that it is specific to winters alone, seasonal affective disorder is that type of mood disorder that affects people with an otherwise normal mental health all through the year, to experience depressive symptoms each year around the same time in the same season. Some people are victims of it in monsoon, such as myself, while most people experience this during winters and out of these most people, most of them are women.
This is a rather common disorder that you probably weren’t aware of and most likely suffer from it during winters and less likely in a season specific to you.
The symptoms of SAD are depression, loss of interest in your favourite activities, sleeping problems, frequent suicidal thoughts, overeating, severe irritability, feelings of remaining in isolation among other things. While you can’t change how seasons work, here’s how you can avoid SAD from affecting you especially during winters.
– Exercise without fail: According to various authoritative studies, daily exercise is one of the best, most effective and natural treatment of SAD. Physical exercise have mood enhancing effects among a hundred other health benefits. Even a 30 minute walk every day at any time of the day will significantly help you avoid being victim to SAD.
– Enjoy Sunlight: It doesn’t matter how unsocial you feel, make it a point to soak up a good amount of sunlight each day. Not only does it provide you with the essential Vitamin D, but it also makes your brain release the mood lifting chemical serotonin and acts as a natural antidepressant against SAD and otherwise.
– Vitamin D supplements: Though it is called the sunshine vitamin, there are certain timings when your body can absorb it and in all likelihood you wouldn’t be able to get hold of it from sunshine alone unless you adhere to the timings and sun positioning strictly. It’s always wise to take a supplement after consulting with your doctor. It aids in the production of serotonin and you’ll be surprised to know that most people that suffer from depression are also the same people that are deficient of Vitamin D.
– Omega 3 fatty acids: Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely essential to your emotional health. The two types among them, EPA and DHA, both play a rather important role in mood regulation and nerve function. Studies have constantly shown its prominent link with emotional well-being and how people that consume them sufficiently are a lot less likely to develop depression.
– Substitute Coffee: While a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee is perfection redefined, anything over and above 2 cups a day lead to interference with your natural cicardian rhythm, sleep disturbance, poor mood and depressive symptoms. There’s no better substitute to it than Green Tea that is high on antioxidants and great for your general health too.