Don’t Let The Winter Blues Take Over Your Life

Welcome to the winter blues. Marked by fatigue and down-in-the-dumps moods, they affect up to 20 percent of the population. Meanwhile about 4 to 6 percent of people suffer from full-blown seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which includes clinical depression, anxiety, over- or under-eating, oversleeping or insomnia, and avoidance of social situations.

STAY SOCIAL — While socially isolating yourself during the winter is a tell-tale sign of depression, research consistently shows that social interaction is key to human health.

TURN UP THE LIGHTS — Light therapy can fight winter depression just as well as taking antidepressants. That’s because, just like SSRIs (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors) they increase the levels of serotonin in the brain.

GET THAT VITAMIN D — Studies show that, in people with D deficiencies, increasing intake during the winter months may help combat winter depression even more effectively than light therapy.

PLAY WITH COLOR — Surrounding yourself with the right colors can help shake you out of your funk. While color therapy is still in the early stages of research, bright colors can actually trigger alertness.

BREAK A SWEAT — Move more, feel better. Time and time again, research shows that regular exercise can fight depression, and one new study in The American Journal of Psychiatry proves that as little as one hour per day can prevent depression.