Beat the Winter Blues
Here in Perth, we’re lucky to still see plenty of sunshine on most winter days - however, while we might not be as susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as our European friends, it’s still common for people to report a drop in their mood as the temperature lowers.
Seasonal affective disorder is type of depression. It happens during certain seasons of the year—most often Winter. There is no clear cause of SAD. Less sunlight and shorter days are thought to be linked to a chemical change in the brain and may be part of the cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Melatonin, a sleep-related hormone, also may be linked to SAD.
Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Having low energy
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
So what can we do to reduce these symptoms?
EAT PLENTY OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
When it gets cold, often all we want to do is sit on the couch, binge watch Netflix and snack on our favourite foods. Our diet can have a significant impact on how we feel, both physically and in terms of our mood. When we don’t get enough of a particular nutrient, it may affect our mindsets or behaviours. Eating plenty of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables is a great way to uplift our mood.
CHASE THAT SUNSHINE
Literally… if you see sunshine outside - get out and follow it and stand or sit in it, even for short period at a time. Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for good mental health. Aim to head outside for 10-15 minutes a day to ensure you are reaching your daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium which is needed to build and maintain healthy bones and keep our muscles strong.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GOOD PEOPLE
Social interaction is a well-known protector against all forms of depression, lowering blood pressure and levels of stress hormones. If you're able, you could see a friend or relative for a walk - don't forget to wrap up warm!
TURN IT UP
Research has shown that listening (and dancing!) to some cheerful, upbeat music can improve your mood - even after the song ends. The same can also be said for films and TV shows - putting your favourite feel-good comedy or rom com could help you laugh away those seasonal blues.
SPRING CLEAN IN THE WINTER
A chance to declutter and say goodbye to the unwanted stuff - to refresh our living space by getting neat and tidy. The physical action of housekeeping and the end result of a cleaner home can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression.
If you are suffering and nothing you try is working, please seek professional help. No one needs to suffer alone, so reach out to a therapist or a trusted friend/family member or reach out to us! We're always around for a chat!