top of page
Search
  • drbriannaallen

Beat the Winter Blues: Tips for Managing Seasonal Sadness During the Winter Months

Updated: Oct 23, 2023


With the fall season already upon us, many people may be worried about how they will cope with low mood, often referred to as "winter blues, " during the upcoming colder months. While this can be challenging, there are several strategies you can try to help improve your mood and well-being. Here are some tips:

  1. Get Outside: Make an effort to spend time outdoors during daylight hours, even when it is cold. Natural light and environmental exposure can help boost your mood, improve your concentration, reduce stress, and even positively impact academic performance. (1,3)

  2. Stay Active: Regular, moderate to vigorous physical activity can help boost your mood by releasing endorphins and reducing stress. Exercise may also help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety, and improve functioning and physical health in individuals with psychotic disorders. (2)

  3. Sleep Hygiene: Sleep disturbances (e.g., early awakening, poor sleep quality) are associated with low mood.(5) Ensure you get enough restorative sleep. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule, create a comfortable sleep environment, and limit exposure to screens before bedtime.

  4. Utilize Stress-Management Techniques: It is important to manage stress, whether fleeting or chronic. Tools such as meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and yoga, can help reduce stress, improve physical and psychological functioning, and improve mood. (3)

  5. Give Back: Engaging in acts of service, such as through volunteering, can improve mood, psychological well-being, and physical well-being.(3)

  6. Maintain a Routine: Establish a daily routine to provide structure and stability. This can help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed by the changing seasons.

  7. Seek Professional Help: If your low mood persists and significantly impacts your daily life, consider speaking with a mental health professional. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by the changing of the seasons, and it impacts approximately 3% of the general population.(4)Therapy may be an important tool to help you manage the winter blues.


Remember that everyone is different, so what works for one person may not work well for you. Figuring out how to cope with the winter blues may take some trial and error, so it is important that you remain patient with and seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional when necessary.


At Allen Psychotherapy Services, LLC I offer HIPAA compliant telehealth services focused on the treatment of depression for children and adults. For more information, please contact me today at DrAllen@drbriannaallen.com or at (561) 299-1447 for a FREE 30-minute consultation!


For more information, please visit the websites below:


Sources:

  1. Van den Berg, A. E. (2005). Health impacts of healing environments; a review of evidence for benefits of nature, daylight, fresh air, and quiet in healthcare settings. UMCG.

  2. Morgan, A. J., Parker, A. G., Alvarez-Jimenez, M., & Jorm, A. F. (2013). Exercise and mental health: an exercise and sports science Australia commissioned review. Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 16(4).

  3. Walsh, R. (2011). Lifestyle and mental health. American Psychologist, 66(7), 579.

  4. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019, May 1). Seasonal affective disorder: Medlineplus genetics. MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/seasonal-affective-disorder/#frequency

  5. Cukrowicz, K. C., Otamendi, A., Pinto, J. V., Bernert, R. A., Krakow, B., & Joiner Jr, T. E. (2006). The impact of insomnia and sleep disturbances on depression and suicidality. Dreaming, 16(1), 1.

7 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page