Improve your Mood and Beat the Winter Blues!


Improve your Mood and Beat the Winter Blues!     

Winter thoughtfulness

     The Holiday Blues is a condition that begins around the Thanksgiving holiday, causing stress and anxiety throughout the winter and until after New Year’s. Many people go through short periods of time where they feel sad or not like their usual selves. Sometimes, these mood changes begin and end when the seasons change. People may start to feel “down” when the days get shorter in the fall and winter (also called “winter blues”) and begin to feel better in the spring, with longer daylight hours.

     In some cases, these mood changes are more serious and can affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities. If you have noticed significant changes in your mood and behavior whenever the seasons change, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression.

     Seasonal Affective Disorder is estimated to affect 10 million Americans. Another 10 percent to 20 percent may have mild SAD.

Signs & Symptoms

Feelings of Hopelessness, Sadness, Fatigue, Irritability, Thoughts of Suicide, Inability to Concentrate, Weight Gain, Isolation and Avoidance of Social Activities

How is SAD Treated?

  1. Light Therapy or Sunlight! (Light therapy or Get as much sun as possible and spending time outside can help alleviate symptoms.)
  2. Psychotherapy (Seeking therapy can help address distorted views that make you feel depressed in addition learning ways to cope and manage daily stress.)
  3. Antidepressants (A form of education that helps correct the chemical imbalance that may lead to SAD.)
  4. Self-Care (Take good care of yourself, exercise, drink water, spend time with family and friends!)

What can you do to cope with SAD:

  • Stick to your treatment plan. 
  • Take care of yourself. 
  • Practice stress management. 
  • Socialize
  • Take a trip. 

© 1998-2022 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.

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