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It’s the end of the year, and all you want to do is curl up in your blanket with some hot chocolate and binge watch.But if you have ever felt sad and gone through mood swings during winter, it might be possible that you are having the winter blues. Despite the fact that the winter blues are not gender specific.But as men are not used to being told that they are having mood swings, it pisses them off more. Let us see what the winter blues actually are.
Many people experience a change in mood during the shorter, gloomier winter days. This condition is known as the “winter blues.” You might notice that you’re generally more depressed and lethargic.
The winter blues may make you feel worse than usual, but they usually won’t stop you from having fun. But if your winter depression starts to affect every part of your life, including your job and your relationships with other people, you may have SAD.
What are winter blues?
According to Dr. Moumita Nandy, a clinical psychologist from Delhi, “For many people, there is a feeling of exuberance and freedom that comes on the first real day of spring, when you step outside in shorts and a t-shirt for the first time in months and the warm sun hits your skin.” The longer, darker days of winter, on the other hand, can evoke feelings of heaviness and sadness.
Dr. Nandy adds to it, “You bundle up or stay inside as protection from the cold and often feel less connected to your body and your partner as a result.” While you know that spring is only a few months away, the vitality and interest in sex that come with it seem so far out of reach. “Many men experience changes in their mood and libido during the winter months, and there are a variety of options to make things better.”
SAD is a subtype of major depression that is characterised by the onset of depression during the winter months when there is less natural light. Many people typically experience symptoms in the fall that last through the winter.
Men who experience the winter blues go through mood swings, irritability, self-doubt, and much more.
Men who suffer from SAD frequently sleep more than usual and have a craving for carbs. Additionally, they exhibit a number of the typical indicators of depression, such as:
- Sad, irritable, or gloomy feelings
- less energy
- difficulty in concentrating
- more appetite
- more desire to be alone
- Ideas for suicide
- gaining weight
Some reports suggest that women are more likely than men to get the winter blues.
Fighting the Winter Blues
Feelings of melancholy and depression are frequent during the lengthy winter months. It could be related to spending a lot of time indoors, the weather changing, or the shorter days. Check out these 10 strategies to combat the winter blues if you’re experiencing them.
When it comes to fitness, be creative.
Even if you start the winter with ambitious fitness goals, how many of us are actually guilty of choosing the couch over the treadmill? Find a fitness class that you genuinely want to attend throughout the winter, like trampoline aerobics, to avoid slipping into this trap. Exercise is an excellent strategy to combat the winter blues because it releases endorphins, which make you feel cheerful. If you really find it difficult to get off the couch, try working out at home with training DVDs or watching internet fitness programmes.
Choose an Indoor Hobby
You don’t have to abandon your interests when winter arrives and spend endless amounts of time in front of the television. Take up a new indoor-only interest to keep yourself busy over the winter, such as writing, reading, painting, learning a language, or cooking. Having a wintertime pastime will help you stay mentally active and offer some fun and variety to your nights.
Laugh Someone Out
Performing acts of kindness for others is another strategy for overcoming the wintertime blues. It could be through charitable work, volunteerism, or making a close friend smile with a kind deed. Researchers found that practising random acts of kindness every day for ten days significantly increased people’s happiness. Try implementing a few of these simple adjustments to discover how much of an improvement in your mood they can make.
Why should it be any different in the winter if your calendar is already filled in the summer? Avoid becoming ensnared in a continuous cycle of going to work, coming home, and spending the entire winter indoors. Plan something exciting instead, such as a weekend getaway, a night out with friends, or an ongoing activity like marathon training. Make sure anything you choose is something you can anticipate.
Improve your diet
While it may be tempting to overindulge in comfort foods during the winter, a study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that fast food consumers had a 51% higher risk of developing depression. In light of this, try to eat more nutrient-dense foods, particularly those high in vitamin B, such as chicken, soy beans, and fruit. B vitamins aid in serotonin production in the brain (a chemical that helps balance moods).
Decorate your home
Consider the winter months as the ideal opportunity to give your home a facelift if you’ve grown weary of the decor. We don’t necessarily mean demolishing walls or entirely remodelling your kitchen, but a few small adjustments can go a long way. Consider painting your living room, hanging pictures throughout your home, or simply rearranging the furniture. All are excellent ways to modernise your house and give it a new look without going over budget.
Laugh more frequently
Laughter is one of the best treatments available, especially for the winter blues, since it releases endorphins and serotonin, which improve mood and lessen tension. Many of us do not laugh enough, but studies show that even anticipating laughter can help reduce stress and improve mood.Going out with friends, watching your favourite comic, watching a comedy movie, or reading a hilarious book are all simple strategies to make you laugh more.
Illuminate your life
Lack of sunlight throughout the winter might also contribute to the winter blues. Many individuals travel home from work in the dark after spending the entire day indoors. Get outside as much as you can to be exposed to natural light, leave your curtains open, and sit as near to windows as you can to counteract these effects. A SAD light box may also be an excellent investment because it has been shown to elevate mood and lessen depressive symptoms.
Establish a bedtime
More than you would realise, having a regular bedtime might affect your health. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate depressive symptoms and may be a contributing factor in your winter blues. Put your phone away at least an hour before bed to give yourself the best chance of falling asleep. The blue light that electronic devices emit can disrupt your sleep cycle and keep your brain active. Instead, try relaxing with a book to let your body wind down and get ready for bed.
Supplement with vitamin D
Many of us spend less time outside during the winter, which causes our vitamin D levels to plummet. Studies have shown that low vitamin D levels can lead to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). You can either take a daily vitamin D supplement or boost the number of foods high in vitamin D in your diet, such as oily fish, mushrooms, and eggs, to address this issue. In addition, try to spend as much time outside as you can to naturally enhance your vitamin D consumption.
You are not the only one
You’re not the only one who has the winter blues because of the cooler temperatures and shorter days. During the winter, it’s typical to feel worn out, depressed, have trouble concentrating, and have problems sleeping. Just keep helping yourself out and give yourself some rest too.