Depression isn’t necessarily seasonal. However, many people struggle with what many call the winter blues. If you feel depressed during the winter, then you might want to check out some of these tips. Through lifestyle changes or therapy, you can improve your quality of life no matter what time of year it is.
One of the best ways to overcome winter depression is through light therapy. Although plenty of people have the desire to hibernate during the cold winter months, bright light is usually a better approach. One strategy is to use lamps designed specifically for Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. These lamps can imitate natural sunlight and boost mood.
Even better than light therapy from a lamp is actual sunlight. If you’re able to spend time in the sun outdoors, it can boost your serotonin levels dramatically. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.
Another great way to combat the winter blues is by getting active. Unfortunately, that’s often the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling depressed. This is especially true if it is cold outside.
The good news is that you don’t have to exercise in the cold or even work out for hours to see the results. Instead, find a way to stay active that you look forward to. It might be a short lunchtime walk, or it could be a weekly dance class with high-energy music.
Improve Your Diet
Another lifestyle change that can reduce the symptoms of seasonal depression is improving your diet. Foods that contain a lot of salt, fat, and sugar tend to taste delicious, but they can also lead to inflammation. This, in turn, may make you feel more depressed and lethargic. If possible, aim to eat a range of whole foods and avoid fast food, excessive sweets, and alcohol.
Manage Your Stress
Stress can worsen winter depression. For many people, the holidays can bring about a lot of familial, relationship, or financial stress. If possible, try to take steps to manage your stress.
Although socializing with people you like can be a great way to combat depression, don’t be afraid to say no to some invitations. Take time for self-care and put your own needs first throughout the season.
Fight Winter Blues With Professional Help
If these lifestyle changes aren’t enough to combat depression, then professional help is probably the right choice. For the best seasonal depression treatment Houston has to offer, consider PACE Mental Health. In addition to suggesting lifestyle changes, therapists might recommend all of the following:
- Individual behavioral therapy
- Exercise therapy
- Prescription medication
- Dual diagnosis support
- Family or group therapy
The winter blues can be a temporary condition, but it can also be a sign of a bigger problem. Rather than suffering through depression in silence, seek out professional help at PACE Mental Health in Houston, Texas. If you’re ready for some positive change in your life, then call 866.971.8423 and learn more about your options.