It’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter and the nights are darker. For some people, this can mean a form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is caused by changes in daylight hours from summer to winter. People with SAD may experience symptoms such as fatigue, increased appetite, weight gain (or loss), low energy levels, and mood changes like sadness or irritability during the autumn and winter months.
So what can you do about it?
Do your best to get outside in the daylight whenever you can and don’t sit in the dark. Here are some more tips on how to cope, reduce symptoms, or feel better as the days get darker.
1. Exercise more:
When the days are getting shorter it can become more difficult to get out there and work out. It’s important not to let your fitness routine suffer throughout the cold winter months because it will keep you happy and healthy all year long!
Make sure to work out at least 3 days a week, just as you would in the summer months. Try and get outside for some fresh air when possible, even if it’s snowing! If working out isn’t your thing, try doing any activity with friends or family members.
2. Eat healthily:
The change in the length of the days impacts many aspects of your mood, including your energy levels. Eating smaller meals more often during the day will boost your energy levels and help your metabolism to work properly. Also, add lean meat and protein to your diet to keep your energy levels up.
If you struggle with your nutrition, it may be beneficial to speak to a nutritionist or personal trainer to help you learn some new habits.
Also, don’t forget to drink a lot of water! It’s important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the year.
3. Get proper sleep:
It’s important to get enough sleep, especially if it’s dark when you wake up in the morning. Experts recommend sleeping at least 7-8 hours a day.
Proper sleep will make you feel better. It will give you more energy and can help with stress. If you’re having a hard time sleeping during the winter, try changing your routine by adding more exercises or adding some soothing music to relax.
4. Get Outside:
It’s always a good idea to get outside!
If you work in an office, try to spend some time outside during the day. A quick walk outside on your lunch will make you feel more energised and happy.
Getting outside will also help you get more vitamin D from the sun. It may be hard to get outside when it’s cold, but try bundling up and going for a walk around your neighbourhood! You might even want to consider getting a pet who will enjoy spending time with you inside or on walks outside.
5. Spend more time with your loved ones:
Spending time with the people you love can help improve your mood. So, make an effort to get together more often with family and friends during the colder months of the year.
Planning more gatherings is a great way to spend more time with friends and family. If you don’t have time for get-togethers, try sending a quick text message or email to people in your life and let them know how much you care about them!
6. Try something new:
It can be hard to think about starting something new and exciting during the colder months. With the shorter days you may end up spending most of your time indoors, which can make it easier to get stuck in a routine.
Try taking on some new challenges or experiences! This could be anything from trying out a new recipe with friends and family to learning a new skill. The entire process could keep you busy and engaged with others.
7. Try enjoying the winter:
While it’s true that many things we enjoy doing in the summer can be harder to do in the winter, you might find yourself surprised at what you can still enjoy during the cold months.
For example, you might enjoy baking in the winter or playing board games with friends and family. Try to look for new things that could make your life better in the winter.
Outdoor activities like cycling or running are just as fun, too, if you’ve got the right winter kit to keep warm and dry.
You might end up realising that you can still do some of your favourite activities even though it’s cold outside!
Winter can be hard to get through for many people but if you try some of the tips listed above, I’m sure that it won’t be as hard on you. In fact, winter can be a great time to spend with your friends and family because most people would rather spend time inside than outside in the cold anyway. You might even find yourself enjoying the winter weather more than the summer if you make the most of your time during the winter.