What is Winter Blue?
Many of us feel very tired and low at the beginning of winter. This sadness and melancholy is also called winter blue.
Winter blue or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects most of the population. Depression that occurs each year in certain seasons and can affect mood and health.
It’s a treatable condition, but it’s important to be aware of the factors that trigger it and make appropriate lifestyle changes.
What are the symptoms of SAD?
Symptoms of SAD are more or less similar to depression. However, it tends to occur in certain seasons each year. Some of the symptoms of SAD associated with winter are:
- Lethargy.. Most of the time during the day, you feel tired and lack energy.
- Hypersomnia.. You feel the need to sleep excessively.
- Weight gain.. If you eat too much and gain weight, you will lose your appetite.
- Lonely.. Winter blue can also cause you to feel socially isolated and lonely.
- Loss of concentration.. It can be difficult and distracting to focus on one task.
- despair.. You may be constantly worried and stop feeling hope for the future.
What is the cause behind your winter blue?
The specific cause behind this failure remains unknown. However, the various factors that can play a role are:
- Decreased hormone levels.. A decrease in various hormones in the body can also cause this disorder.
- Disturbance of the body clock. There is not much sunlight during the winter. This can disrupt your body clock and lead to its onset.
When should I seek medical attention?
It’s okay to be depressed from time to time, but if you feel lethargic and depressed for days, you should see a doctor. Changes in appetite and sleep patterns can be a source of concern.
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What are the risk factors associated with it?
Some risk factors associated with SAD are:
- sex. Women are at increased risk of feeling the blue of winter.
- age.. The risk of developing depression is generally higher for people over the age of 50. However, this type of seasonal depression is more common in the age group of 18-30 years.
- Family history.. Having a family history of seasonal depression can increase your risk of developing it.
How to treat seasonal affective disorder or winter blue?
The best way to treat seasonal affective disorder and winter blue is to look for ways to help maintain good health during the winter and release hormones that are pleasing to the body.
What are the hormones that affect our mood?
Our mood is at the mercy of several powerful brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. When these neurotransmitters are released into the body, we are calm and happy. However, low levels of neurotransmitters are associated with depression and loneliness.
Studies show that eating different types of foods can help release different neurotransmitters in the body. Two important neurotransmitters that can affect your appetite and help drive away winter blue are:
- Serotonin: Serotonin is a happy hormone that exists in our body. Helps to raise mood and reduce signs of depression. Carbohydrates play an important role in the release of serotonin, which helps control and satisfy cravings.
- Dopamine and norepinephrine.. Dopamine and norepinephrine are responsible for alerting us. Low levels of these hormones can make you feel distracted and isolated.
What are the different foods that help reduce winter blue?
To fight winter blue, you need to include the following foods in your diet:
- Yogurt.. During the winter, your metabolic system works twice as hard to keep your body warm. Yogurt contains a culture of live bacteria that helps improve gut health. You can eat it plain or add fresh fruits and cinnamon to add flavor.
- Lean protein.. Lean proteins such as fish, beans, lentils, and chicken are made up of a variety of amino acids. These amino acids help produce neurotransmitters that have a positive effect on our mood. They can also provide us with energy and help us overcome the fatigue associated with winter blue.
- nuts. Nuts are a great snack option to eat on an empty stomach or between meals. They are composed of vitamins, fiber and protein and should be essentially part of the winter food mix.
- Fermented food.. Fermented foods like yogurt are rich in good bacteria. They help the digestive process and keep your intestines healthy. Incorporate fermented foods such as kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut into your diet to repel winter blue.
- carbohydrate.. As we know, carbohydrates help release the pleasing hormone serotonin. Therefore, eating carbohydrate-rich foods such as potatoes, whole grains, and quinoa can make you feel better.
- Vitamin-rich foods.. Fresh fruits such as kiwis, oranges, lemons and berries contain the goodness of vitamin C and antioxidants. Health and wellness experts suggest that consuming 2-3 glasses of these fresh fruits daily can improve brain health and mental function.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate is everyone’s comfortable food for a reason. It can help your body release endorphins and help you focus better. Dark chocolate, made up of 70% cocoa solids, has an instant mood-conditioning effect and has many health benefits to keep your body happy and healthy.
- Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids.. Omega 3 fatty acids have a variety of health benefits and are also known to affect mood. Eat flaxseed, seafood, and nuts rich in omega-3 fatty acids to relieve depression.
- selenium.. Selenium is a mineral or nutrient found in various foods such as whole grains, nuts and beans. Selenium, when taken regularly, helps to lift your mood and keep you away from winter blues.
What are the precautions for Winter Blue?
Here are some of the lifestyle changes you can make to prevent it:
- Daily exercise. 30 minutes of exercise and stretching daily will help you feel better.
- Hydration. Your metabolic system works harder during the winter. Therefore, drink plenty of water to support it and avoid dehydration.
- I will go out with you. Go out and interact with your friends and family so you don’t feel isolated.
Winter blue and SAD are not critical and usually disappear spontaneously. However, be careful to avoid future complications. Following your doctor’s guidelines can help you manage your health and get rid of the blues!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can Alcohol Intake Affect Winter Blue?
Yes, alcohol consumption may seem uplifting at first. However, over time, symptoms usually worsen.
What are the complications of SAD?
SAD is not a serious failure and can disappear after a few days. However, if it lasts for a long time, it can lead to severe depression and anxiety.
What are the other treatment options available for this condition?
Psychotherapy and medications are available to keep the winter blue away.