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Tips for overcoming seasonal depression

by Freya 4 minutes read

Last updated: 02 Nov, 2022

Winter can be tough for us all, especially if you are a sufferer of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Winter brings new struggles, like having to pay for heating, seasonal holidays, darkness and shorter days, and of course, cold weather. It can be daunting and have a negative effect on one's mental health, making it more important than ever to make your mental health your primary care.

It is vital to spot whether you are suffering from seasonal depression so you can act on it early and manage it in the most effective way.

Here are the symptoms to look out for according to the NHS:

  • Sleep issues

  • Lethargy

  • Low mood

  • Over/undereating

  • Irritability

  • Feeling down and unsociable

If you are suffering from these symptoms, we have some tips that may help you through the winter months.

Get outside

Getting outside in the morning or mid-day on brighter days can be very helpful in terms of boosting your mood.

It can also be helpful to keep your curtains open and let as much natural light in as possible. Sitting near windows and having pale colours and deflect seasonal depression as the light helps lift your mood and feel less like winter in a way.

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Eat healthily

Eating right can have a great impact on your mood, eating healthy will help boost your mood and give you more energy.

Often people worry about winter weight as well, which can be another factor causing depression, so eat healthily to help avoid putting on weight, but still enjoy yourself around the holidays!

Stay active

Keeping active can be both physically and mentally beneficial all year round, but especially in the winter.

Exercise has been proven to increase the levels of endorphins we produce in the brain, leading to a feel-good mood.

Stay social

Of course, not everyone gets stimulation for staying social, but if you are on the extrovert side, it is important that you stay in contact with friends and family, this can also be helpful for introverts in the winter.

Socialising can be good for your mental health, studies have shown that we benefit from being social and having friendships, so in the winter it is important to stay in touch and spend time with your loved ones.

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Light therapy

Some people's experience with winter blues is due to the lack of light, as we have already mentioned. It can be helpful to try light therapy.

One way you can do this is to sit in front of a light box for up to two hours a day. They give out more light than what we get through our windows.

Another way is to sit near a window on brighter days, especially in the mornings when it is the lightest.

Try a new hobby

Starting a new hobby can be exciting and help keep your mind active, causing your seasonal depression symptoms to reduce.

You could pick anything from the gym, dancing, journaling, playing a new game, going for walks, or even becoming an indoor plant parent!

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Tip: If you find that none of these help, talking about it with someone (prehaps a professional or a support group) can be helpful and give you some extra support to get through the darker and colder months

You can find guidance and support here

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