Daylight hours are shorter in winter than in summer, especially in temperate and cold zone countries with higher latitudes. The difference in daylight hours between winter and summer is more obvious. The length of daylight in winter may be less than one-third of the whole day. However, if the human body lacks sunlight, it will reduce serotonin and vitamin D in the body, making it prone to depression. According to experts at the National Institutes of Health, feeling blue during the winter is very common, and symptoms include feeling often sad and experiencing poor physical and mental energy.
There is a specialized medical term for this: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is a type of depression related to seasonal changes. It is usually Winter is the most common period, and this type of “winter-limited” depression is called winter depression. It causes loss of interest in things, fatigue, poor concentration, and changes in appetite (usually an increase in appetite).
If you feel that you are suffering from winter depression, or you feel depressed for a long time in winter, you may try the following methods to help improve your mood and get rid of depression.
1.Eat the right food
If you are in a bad mood, why not make yourself a cup of hot cocoa! In addition to being a treat for your senses of smell and taste, natural cocoa powder can improve your mood and provide heart-healthy benefits. If you add milk, you can also supplement carbohydrates, protein and vitamin D at one time. This combination helps to increase the level of serotonin and help the body relax.
In addition, fish is also a good choice. Eat fish such as salmon, trout, sardines or tuna 3 to 5 times a week. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve your mood. Eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and eggs for breakfast (a good source of choline, which helps regulate nerve function and metabolism, and maintains body energy stability) can also inject vitality into the body.
Professor Golan said that it is best to set a sleep time and establish a fixed routine before going to bed and getting up. For example, if you go to bed at 11 o’clock every day, dim the room lights at 10 o’clock to cultivate sleepiness. According to the recommendations of the National Sleep Foundation, you should sleep at least 7 hours a night to maintain overall health. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, please make your sleeping environment comfortable, such as keeping the room temperature slightly cooler and blocking out light sources, which can help you fall asleep.
3. Start exercising
If you have not exercised in the past, you might as well try taking a walk outside after lunch, taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, etc., and then develop other exercise habits. Dr. Jacqueline Gollan, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University, said: “All types of exercise can be done. Moderate to high-intensity exercise for 20 minutes at least four times a week can reduce depression. “
4.Write down to-do items and complete them one by one
Writing down the to-do items in your life and completing them one by one can give you a sense of accomplishment! For example, make a list of planning and storage of clutter at home, tidying up the garden, etc., and use an afternoon to complete it. From a psychological point of view, people are born with a desire to feel that they are capable of doing things and completing them. This kind of self-affirmation can bring happiness.
5.Watch a funny movie
Experts believe that “laughter” can stimulate the brain and help fight depression, and laughter is contagious, so you might as well find a few friends, rent a funny video and watch it together, or go to the cinema to laugh with the audience!
6.Socialize and interact with people
Research confirms that socializing can support mental health and help combat the winter blues. If you think of a friend, try contacting them! During holidays, you can also go out with family and friends, take a short trip or go to a concert. Even if it is only one day of activities, it can help improve your mood.
If symptoms such as chronic pain, headaches, sleep disorders or heart disease occur, they may also be related to depression. Therefore, if your condition has not improved, it is best to seek professional consultation to avoid worsening of the problem.