People all across the globe feel a change in emotions around winter time, others enjoy it, but a large percent of people feel negatively when the temperature starts to get colder. Is this drastic change in emotions just a coincidence? Or is there really some type of science behind why people get the winter blues?
Although not everyone experiences winter depression, it’s not as uncommon as people may believe. Winter depression occurs due to a change in daylight hours. The reason many people feel down in winter is because of the lengthy, dark and cold nights and early mornings. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression that’s related to the changes in seasons. Some people may experience the more severe side effects of this disorder.
According to aafp.org, “About 4 to 6 percent of people are affected by winter depression.” Seasonal Affective Disorder is significantly more common in women than men. Since SAD is caused by shifts in the daylight cycle, summer depression exists too. Summer depression begins around the end of spring and beginning of summer and is similar to the effects of winter depression.
How can you stop/treat symptoms of SAD? Some of the easiest ways to dim your negative thoughts is to exercise, see a therapist, eat healthy, and make sure you have plenty of vitamin D. Exercise can especially help during the winter because it gets your body moving and helps wake up your mind. A therapist is beneficial to your mental well-being because sometimes people just need to talk to someone. Seeing a therapist can help with SAD and countless other mental issues as well. Eating healthy and keeping track of your vitamin D intake is helpful because your diet reflects your physical and mental health.
Although many people may feel negatively when wintertime comes around, there are many solutions that can help people feel better. Even though these options might not completely cure the way people feel, it can greatly relieve these feelings. If these feelings continue and don’t seem to be getting better, there’s always someone you can reach out to.
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: 988