Depression, usually expressed as feeling low, sadness, having a loss of interest in daily activities and socialising has various forms and reasons to affects the lives of people. While normally lifestyle changes or disease can lead to depression, change in weather also lead to depressive episodes. The sustained feeling for longer durations of time can lead to major life problems.

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a form of depression that makes one feel the blues as it triggers the shift in the weather. It drives the zapping energy and is commonly witnessed in winters. The shorter days leads to change in the human body’s rhythm including the sleeping and waking hours driving that result in sometimes feeling energized and sometimes feeling drowsy.

10 Hacks to Beat Winter Depression

Lifestyle is a common factor affecting the mental state and leading to depression and hence making simple changes in the lifestyle and adapting these hacks can be useful:

1-     Talk and heal: Talking about mental health to a professional is a solution that should be prioritized as soon as one notice the symptoms, as seeking the right help at the right point of time can help in diagnosing depression and establishing a treatment plan for the same. The doctors can help identify if a person is suffering from SAD or any other form of depression.

2-     Light Therapy: Usually, the depression is a result of a reduced amount of sunlight in winters. The light box therapy can help in recovery from SAD and reduce the symptoms as the light boxes produce a significantly brighter light than that of regular light bulbs. It is available in different wavelengths and stimulates body circadian rhythm and suppressed natural release of melatonin. It is one of the most effective methods that most people use as the first thing in the morning to beat winter depression.

3-     Aromatherapy: A therapy that is used to relax the brain may also be helpful with the seasonal depression. In a busy scheduled life, using aromatherapy in personal time, reading a book, meditating or even while bathing can lead to effective results. The essential oils influence the area of the brain that’s responsible for controlling moods and the body’s internal clock influencing sleep and appetite.

4-     On the Way to Being Depression less: Stuck in bed for days and not intending to come out and work are not only the symptoms of SAD but also help leads to an extended depressive episode. Outdoor exercise is the most effective hack one can choose to reduce the symptoms of depression. Choosing a treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical machine close to a window at the gym also helps the people weight gain that is common with seasonal affective disorder.

5-     Let the Sunshine In: Going out in winters is a hack that can reduce the symptoms of wintertime Seasonal Affective Disorder as one can take advantage of the natural sunlight. Keeping the blinds open while being indoors can also lead to feeling better as one gets light. One can take a stroll outside in the park or around the block in the afternoon to help the brain relax and body to feel energetic.

6-     Make Your Schedule: Making a schedule and sticking to it can help one feel good while suffering from the symptoms of SAD like insomnia which is trouble sleeping during the night and getting up in the morning. Sticking to a schedule where one sleeps on the right time and eats in regular intervals of time can help the body make a rhythm and leading less weight gain as well.

7-     Vacation: Having time to oneself and travelling to locations lead to a break from the daily routine especially when it includes sitting in the office from the entire day away from the outside world, a few days escape to a sunny place helps in alleviating the mood.

8-     Getting more of Vitamin D: Diet is the most essential part of the human body’s mental and physical health and low levels of Vitamin D are linked to the SAD as a crucial nutrient. Testing the levels of Vitamin D in the body and taking supplements for the same is something that one can do to as a helpful hack to beat winter depression.

9-    Medications: Seeking help in the form of antidepressants’ is effective in case it is needed as a part of the treatment plan. Medicines like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be used for treating seasonal depression. The SSRIs include medications such as fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), and citalopram (Celexa) along with bupropion (Wellbutrin).

10-    Psychotherapy: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is helpful in treating seasonal depression, as it ensures that people recognize their negative thoughts and replace them with more positive ones.

Be Proactive

It is good to be proactive and ensure that the seasonal change does not affect how one feels by following these simple hacks including the basic lifestyle change. Hope these hacks were useful for those who might get affected by this seasonal disorder.

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