How do you avoid the 'winter blues?'

Winter blues can appear in someone at any point during the colder months of the year. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your mental health in check!

Daylight saving time ended on October 25th, which means we got to spend an extra hour in bed. But it'll also be dark out by the time we leave the office.

According to psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal, who discovered seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), there are ways to fight the blues.

What is seasonal depression?

Seasonal depression is caused by the lack of sun exposure associated with winter and the time change. The exact causes of this disorder are not yet known, but what we do know is that it is more likely to affect women than men.

A survey conducted in England found that an estimated one in four people in England experienced some kind of seasonal depression during the winter. Symptoms of SAD include hypersomnia (a very strong urge to sleep), strong carbohydrate cravings, loss of sex drive, reduced energy, and feeling sad.

How do you avoid seasonal depression?

According to Dr. Norman Rosenthal, light therapyis one of the best ways to avoid seasonal affective disorder. You can find all kinds of light therapy lamps on the Internet to treat yourself with, but there are other options too. The psychiatrist recommends jogging in the morning (or just walking) to get some sun exposure.

You might also get the urge to eat carbohydrates, which can cause weight gain as well as exacerbate feelings of depression and lack of energy. As such, it's very important to watch your diet in the winter.

Dr. Norman Rosenthal also recommends meditating so you feel calmer and less anxious. Finally, if you have more severe or debilitating symptoms, you should reach out to your general practitioner or a health care professional for help and support managing your illness.

Try optimising your mental health with 'mental hygiene' tips Try optimising your mental health with 'mental hygiene' tips