Are you sick of winter? Eating lots of junk food? Tired all the time? No motivation, and in a ​lousy mood?

This time of the year, many people suffer from the winter blues. It’s a common, mild depression caused by a decrease in sunlight. When days get shorter and there is less sunlight, people can experience changes in their energy level, moods, and ability to concent​​​rate. These factors can cause problems not only with relationships, but with normal daily challenges.

Do you have several of these symptoms?

  • Increased feelings of being tired
  • Difficulty waking up in the mornings
  • Difficulty concentrating and thinking creatively in comparison to the summer months
  • Incorrectly blaming oneself for things that go wrong
  • Difficulty with tasks that normally seem to be easy/enjoyable
  • Increased craving for carbohydrate-rich food like chocolate and sodas

What Can You Do?

  • Exercise helps fight the blues and reduce stress too.
  • Even if it is cold out, bundle up and take a walk outside especially on sunny days.
  • Eat healthy. Fruits, vegetables, and portion control are key to a healthy diet. Avoid overeating or binging on unhealthy snacks.
  • Try to limit sleep to 8-hour periods, set a regular bedtime and wake up at the same time each day
  • Make an effort to expose yourself to sunlight especially in the early morning. Sit by a window when possible, keep rooms well lit.
  • Also, multiple studies found that the majority of those suffering from the winter blues experienced relief with the use of lamps that produce similar effects to the sun’s natural rays.
  • If you feel that the winter blues are impairing your ability to function in your daily life, or it is creating problems with your relationships, you may want to consider consulting with your doctor.

So if you are feeling down this winter, remember that it’s a natural thing that a lot of people go through. Take care of yourself, eat right, sleep well and take advantage of the sun whenever it peeks through!