Are you feeling a change in your mood and body as the days become shorter and night arrives earlier?
Do the dreary winter skies appear to carry with them a gloomy mood? You may be suffering from seasonal depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is defined as a group of depression symptoms that appear in the winter and then disappear with the arrival of the green shoots of spring (SAD). However, while depressing, literally, there are ways to help cope with the condition and reduce the symptoms, four of which we’re exploring today.
- Seek a Relationship with others
According to research, there are some startling truths about the benefits of social connection.
According to one study, social connectedness is a stronger predictor of health than obesity, smoking, or high blood pressure. It has been found that social connections can boost your odds of living longer by up to 50%.
Here are some tips to help you reconnect and overcome feelings of isolation.
Send a pal a humorous or hilarious text message today. Alternatively, simply say hello and that you are thinking of them.
To meet new acquaintances, you don’t need to be an extrovert, have a thousand social media followers, or have a lot of free time. Do something to help others — kindness has been proved to increase a sense of internal connectedness. Send a text or make a phone call to a buddy who you know is going through a difficult period. Take care of your spouse’s laundry.
It’s really up to you, but putting other people first and helping them is a natural way to help yourself.
- Get Some Exercise/Physical Activity
In the last two decades, there has been a lot of research on the usefulness of exercise in reducing depression symptoms. Exercise, for example, boosts blood flow to the brain. It also produces endorphins, which act as a natural antidepressant. Serotonin is also released during physical exertion. Serotonin is a key neurotransmitter that is depleted in those who are depressed.
Exercise also removes stress hormones from your bloodstream, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which are substances linked to depression.
Some tips to help you get moving include:
Go to the gym, even if just for ten minutes. Go for a ten-minute walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks. Do some basic stretches. Start small and build up your routines over time.
- Make Gratitude Work for You
The importance of appreciation for mental health is being studied more and more. Gratitude has been linked to increased happiness in a significant and consistent way. Gratitude cultivates pleasant emotions and can boost the pleasure derived from a favourable feature or experience in one’s life.
Gratitude can make you feel more connected to yourself by strengthening your internal bonds with your loved ones.
Gratitude is a globally accessible emotion that you can start practising right now.
- Have a physical examination
Make sure there are no physical concerns that are increasing your depressive symptoms. Check your iron, vitamin D, and B levels with your doctor. Also, check sure your thyroid is in good operating order. Finally, request blood tests and a complete physical examination.
Sometimes, you may find an underlying concern that can be treated and can help bring you back to your natural, energised self. If you’re suffering from addictive tendencies, like excessive consumption of drugs or alcohol to help cope with your difficult emotions, you’re enlisting the help of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center to deal with these in a healthy, productive way.
Make taking care of yourself a top priority. Depression is unquestionably taxing on our mental, emotional, and physical energies. Depression, by its own nature, causes a severe lack of personal resources.
So treat yourself with care and understanding, and do something today to refill your mental, emotional, and physical stores.