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What To Do If You Are Experiencing The Winter Blues

Winter is coming and with it the winter blues. Getting out of bed in the morning is probably one of the least enjoyable tasks of the day. And although winter fatigue might not be a major depression issue, to avoid it triggering a severe depression, you should probably take it seriously. To take care of your mental health, make sure to take a good look at your life and/or your apartment and think of different ways you can make yourself more comfortable and possibly combat feeling down. Keep reading for a list of tips and tricks to deal with it! But first:

What are the possible symptoms you might be experiencing?

The winter blues are seasonal, and people often start noticing symptoms during autumn. It’s also often abbreviated as SAD (= Seasonal Affective Disorder). Possible symptoms are:

  • Increased tiredness
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of energy
  • A persistent low mood
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in everyday activities
  • Feeling irritable
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feeling stressed or anxious
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Becoming less sociable
  • Sleep more than usual
  • Increased appetite (also cravings for particular foods) 

It is important to note, however, that professionals or doctors only diagnose you with seasonal depression if it is connected to the season, aka the winter months, AND if it’s a yearly occurrence.

Disclaimer: Always be very careful when you trying to self-diagnose. So if you feel like you might be experiencing (seasonal) depression, you should see a doctor for a professional opinion.

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Here are some ideas you could try to make yourself feel better. And always remember, with any change, take baby steps!

1. Use Dawn Simulators

These simulators act as alarm clocks, but instead of waking up to the annoying sound of beeping, you wake up naturally. These simulators start with dim light and slowly get brighter and more intense, similar to the sun. You can find all sorts of apps that do this in the app store, so you can try it out before spending money.

2. Get some exercise (preferably outside)

Getting regular exercise has many benefits for mental health. Not only does it relieve stress, improve memory, help sleep better, and boost the overall mood and self-esteem, it can also help relieve depression symptoms. Furthermore, research shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing.

3. Clean up your sleep hygiene

It seems too easy to just give in to the temptation of sleeping in bed all day long. Instead, set a time you want to go to bed and a time to wake up, and then stick to it. Don’t give up if you don’t succeed straight away, and stay aware of the fact if and how it affects your mood during the day.

4. Cut out alcohol

Having a glass of wine or a beer can be quite relaxing at the moment, but what you might not know is that it’s a depressant. Excessive usage has been linked to SAD, so if you tend to drink a lot of alcohol in your free time, try going without it, you might notice that you feel better after some time.

5. If all things fail, speak to a mental health professional.

A doctor will be able to diagnose you properly, and possibly give you new insights or prescribe some medication that could help.

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