Dealing With The Dark Days Of Winter

With Daylight Savings Time upon us, the days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting much colder. And while we’re about six weeks away from winter officially starting, this is the time of year when some people get struck by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

For some, SAD is just a general feeling of lethargy, but it can also quickly become a more full-blown form of depression. The lack of sunlight forces your brain to work harder to produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. The longer days can play tricks with your sleep cycle, leading to poorer sleep and negative emotions.

Luckily, you can do a few things to nip any bouts of seasonal depression in the bud. Here are a few tips to help you get started.


Stay Active

It’s incredible how exercise can be a natural cure-all, but it’s one of our body’s best defenses. Ideally, try to go outside for a run or walk when it’s sunny out. This will help your body absorb more Vitamin D, which helps strengthen your bones and has been shown to be linked to mood improvement. Additionally, maintaining a good level of physical activity will trigger adrenaline and dopamine, two chemicals in the brain that help maintain higher energy levels and positive feelings.


Eat Healthy

Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, we’re heading into the most tempting time of year to eat rich, heavy, fatty foods. It is even more complex because our bodies naturally crave fattier foods when the weather gets cold to help us stay insulated in the winter. It can be challenging when both the office and home are filled with treats, but it’s essential to maintain a healthy diet even during these colder months. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables and balancing them with the less healthy options that might surround you will help ensure you get all the essential vitamins and minerals that help regulate mood.


Get a Sun Lamp

If you are feeling down during the longest, darkest days, it might be worthwhile to get a sunlamp. This is a perfect substitute for natural sunlight if you live in an area with primarily gray and cloudy winters. Using a sun lamp for only 30 minutes every morning will make your body feel like it’s still getting enough natural sunlight.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s essential to get help as quickly as possible. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our medical specialists, who can help diagnose the situation and make a personalized recommendation.

Call us in Maryland at 301-703-8767, in Pennsylvania at 724-603-3560, or in Virginia at 540-433-1905 to make an appointment, or use the form on our site to send us a message.

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