Changing SAD into GLAD: Ways to Combat Those Winter Blues
With winter conditions settling in Canada earlier than compared to the last few years, it’s important to bring to light one underlying effect of the cold weather that seem to be buried in the avalanche of discussions about winter tires, appropriate cold weather gear, and safe winter sports accessories: SAD or seasonal affective disorder.
SAD is a type of depression that is prevalent during the cold season but could also happen during spring and summer. SAD typically make individuals experience sleeping difficulties, lethargy, irregular appetite, irritability, and a constant feeling of hopelessness.
People with SAD often manifests symptoms once fall begins when the days start getting shorter. SAD doesn’t have a clear cause, but generally it’s believed that the lack of sunlight is a major factor for one to develop SAD.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep these so-called winter blues at bay to avoid them being disruptive to one’s normal way of life. Read below for some of these tried-and-tested tips.
Take in as much sunlight as you can.
With winter, shorter days and longer nights are a given. By the time you are doing with work or school, there’s typically not a lot of time left to get that much-needed rays of sunshine. However, there are ways that you can.
For example, during your breaks in between classes or work tasks, step out and take a walk, instead of confining yourself to your desk. On weekends, if you want to meet up with friends for dinner, suggest a brunch instead so you’ll have time to bask in the sunlight.
Keep the sweet cravings under control.
Treating yourself to sweets is fine occasionally. We all enjoy our favourite chocolate bar or a pastry from our go-to bakery. However, one should be aware when the cravings go out of control.
While it’s good to give in to them for satisfaction, sugar highs often turn into sugar lows and one ends up feeling more down than when they started. Thus, if you would need to snack on something sweet, go for natural snacks like nuts or fruits.
Brighten up your winter wardrobe.
When it comes to fashion, it’s often said that one should dress according to the season, no matter how cliché that may sound. Spring means a lot of florals, summer means bright colours, and autumn means neutrals.
When it comes to winter wear though, the majority seems to throw out anything within a colour palette out the window and merely go for black. Scientists actually believe that the colours you wear have an effect on your mood, so go for a bit of fashion adventure: choose a bright-colour winter jacket or a scarf in a shade that truly pops. You’ll be surprised how it changes how you feel.
Get together with friends and family.
As the holidays roll around during wintertime, it may be challenging to schedule some much-needed quality time with friends and family, but it’s important that you keep in touch and do your best to share a cup of coffee or a meal or two with your family or friends.
Of course, since COVID is still around and has not totally bid us goodbye, ensure that you take the necessary precautionary measures to avoid exposure, like wearing a mask indoors and others.
SAD is definitely a potential enemy for anyone living in a country with winter. The effects of longer nights and not getting enough sunshine are difficult, but one can cope with them. Try the steps above and hope for the better!