The third Monday in January is dubbed “Blue Monday” - also known as the saddest day of the year. Feeling down on this day could be a sign of the winter blues. But for others, “Blue Monday” lasts all season. If short and gloomy days are draining your energy levels and affecting your mental health, then you’ve got classic symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
This form of depression is triggered by changes in weather and daylight that occur in winter. The good news is, there are many effective treatments and preventive measures for SAD. MedStar Health shares how to ease symptoms:
Consider Light Therapy
SAD is triggered by changes in our exposure to sunlight. Sitting in front of a special type of light box for about 30 to 45 minutes every morning can reduce your symptoms of SAD. Make sure you talk to your doctor about whether this treatment option is the right one for you.
Maintain A Balanced Diet
People affected by SAD tend to crave more sugary foods which allows your body to feel greater fatigue. Try balancing your diet by including more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. When you eat better, you feel better!
Make A Plan
Are you oversleeping or spending more time in bed? Develop a “fun menu” of activities, daily exercise, and outings that can help you when you’re looking for an uplifting diversion.
Check Your Vitamin D Levels
Lack of sunshine means lower levels of Vitamin D - which is a nutrient your body needs. Try spending time outdoors when the sun is at its highest, your doctor might also recommend Vitamin D supplements if your body needs an extra boost.