While winters are all about festivals and hours spent in cosy blankets and sipping hot cups of tea or coffee, for many it signals the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression. If you find yourself gloomy, sad, sleeping more than usual, having low moods consistently, and cannot stop munching on sugary treats in winter months, you may be suffering from this mental health disorder.
“The most common symptoms are – a sense of fatigue paired with oversleeping, having persistent low moods, and strong cravings for carbohydrates and sugars which can lead to excessive weight gain striking one’s self confidence,” says Arouba Kabir, Mental Health Counselor, A wellness Coach, and Founder, Enso Wellness.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s seasonal. While some people get affected by it in winter months, others may suffer from it in spring or early summer.
SAD like other types of depression not only affects the way you feel about yourself but also your day-to-day functioning which can isolate you from other people.
“Such presentations can affect a person’s productivity and day-to-day lifestyle preventing them from socializing with others and isolating themselves,” says Kabir.
The positive side is that there are ways to manage it and if you are determined to fight this and prepare well in advance, you are likely to beat it.
Tips to deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder or depression in winter
Here are some changes that Kabir suggests you to incorporate in your routine for a happy and blissful winter season:
Expose yourself to natural light: Wake up early in the morning and bask in the sunshine for as long as it lasts. It will allow you to feel fresh and energetic for the entire day ahead.
Watch what you eat: It’s okay to have a scrumptious calorie-laden meal once in a while but overloading yourself with a carbohydrate-rich and sugary diet is an absolute No. Maintain a food journal and jot down whatever you eat in a day, it’ll help you analyse your patterns and make healthier choices.
Remain active: Since most people experiencing SAD often state lethargy as a main symptom, it becomes important to indulge in physical activities of some sort to keep your energy levels up and your mood fresh.
Get help: You could also connect to your friends, family or a mental health professional, to discuss your conditions and help them support you.