Winter Blues is a term that’s been thrown around in conjunction to seasonal depression.
The cold winter months can bring many feelings of sadness and low energy levels, it’s natural to feel a little down during the winter time. How much of feeling down is too much?
Below we discuss…
- Winter Blues and Seasonal Depression in Perspective
- Signs Symptoms of Seasonal Depression
- Causes of Seasonal Depression
- Surviving Winter Blues
What Are The Winter Blues?
Winter Blues are the negative feelings attached to the colder months of the year that fall in the winter season.
Winter blues are feelings of sadness, anxiety, and depression in its mildest form until it progresses to seasonal depression, the medical term for progressive winter blues.
Seasonal depression is a real medical diagnosis. People who live in areas that have cold winters know they have felt the downs of seasonal depression.
The feelings of lack of energy, lack of motivation, over-eating, over-lounging and overall self-pity, grow to its maximum potential.
This period begins as winter approaches and ends when winter ends every year. When the days get shorter and there is lack of day light, when the weather is colder and there is snow and ice, the winter blues begin.
Everything takes longer to do, traffic is worse, you are so cold and probably sick, and have no energy to layer up just to step foot outside.
It is just a terrible feeling and well lets face it, sounds like no fun compared to the fun summer months of bikinis, laughs, beaches, and overall sense of freedom. No wonder seasonal depression develops.
Seasonal depression is the same feeling as regular depression and anxiety, but triggered by winter rather than other external factors like in regular depression.
Seasonal depression also lifts once the warmer weather approaches which is not necessarily the factor in regular depression.
As you know, depression and anxiety go hand in hand with one another and feed off each other.
After too much stressing and anxiety, your mood falls down to a depression and after too much depression and self pitty, bouts of anxiety occur. Of course with seasonal depression, anxiety can be triggered as well.
Signs and Symptoms: Seasonal Depression
- Feeling sad
- Low energy levels
- Increased depression through the winter
- Increased anxiety through the winter
- Sleeping problems or over sleeping
- Not wanting to go out or go places
- Weight flucuations
- Appetite increase
- Lost of interest
- Loss of sexual desire
- Craving carbohydrates/sugars
Causes of Seasonal Depression
- Cold weather
- Gloomy weather
- Winter season
- Lack of vitamin D due to winter and sunlight
- Lack of Melatonin due to winter
- Circadian rhythm off (shorter days, longer nights)
- Drop in serotonin levels
Surviving Winter Blues
Surviving the winter blues is easier than it sounds. When you are strong-minded and not suffering from anxiety, overcoming the winter times is easy.
If you naturally suffer from anxiety and depression then the winter blues will make your situation even worse.
The good thing about seasonal depression is that it is temporary during the winter time.
However, if you live in a place that has cold winters, you cannot afford to let the winter blues take over your life for those months especially when you have a family to take care of, bills, a job, and responsibilities.
All seasonal depression and anxiety treatments can be found HERE. The same treatments for anxiety work for the winter blues.
In addition, specific treatments for seasonal depression include…
- Supplemental Vitamin D (1000 u/day)
- Mealtonin for the night
- Stay active
- Stay social and interact with friends
- Try to enjoy winter activities such as skiing, snowboarding, making a snowman etc.
- Appreciate all seasons that come for what they are and what comes with it (hot coco, snow, Christmas etc)
- Eat healthy
- Infrared Sauna
- Seasonal depression lights
In conclusion, seasonal depression is hard. Although it does not last permanently it can still feel just as debilitating as anxiety and depression for the time that it is occurring.
You don’t have to feel this way and you shouldn’t feel this way.
Take care of your mind before the seasonal depression turns to regular depression and anxiety, a cycle that is much harder to escape from. Address your winter blues.