Winter is coming, and so are the blues.
Daylight savings time ends on November 7 in 2021, and soon the sun will set as early as 3:43 PM in the mainland U.S.
Less sunlight and plummeting temperatures can be enough to make anyone feel gloomy.
But if you’re consistently lethargic or sad during the changing seasons, it might be more than just winter blues.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects people when the seasons change.
Winter isn’t the only time people struggle with this — it can affect some during the spring and summer too.
It’s estimated that over a billion people worldwide are deficient in vitamin D, which we primarily get from sun exposure.
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Winter darkness makes it harder to keep up healthy levels of this essential nutrient.
Supplements can be helpful if you are low in vitamin D or have a deficiency, which can be determined by a routine blood test.
Happy lamps mimic the sunlight you’re missing in the winter, and are often combined with other types of therapy to treat SAD.
They don’t cause the body to produce more vitamin D, but they can help regulate your body’s production of melatonin and serotonin.
A simple as it sounds, making sure you drink enough water during the day can ease tiredness and other symptoms.
Like hydration, sleep helps regulate the body’s functions and may make it easier to cope with winter blues.
That being said, sometimes SAD can throw off your sleep schedule — so you might want to try other at-home methods of treatment first.
Though researchers aren’t entirely sure why aromatherapy can help, it’s at times suggested as a supplemental treatment for depression.
Aromatherapy and other types of mind-body awareness practices like meditation can help manage your attitude toward daily life.
Just don’t rely on essential oils alone to wipe out your winter blues.
Keeping your days consistent can ensure that you’re getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, exercising, and engaging in therapy on a regular basis.