Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to Handle Winter Blues /Depression ?

One of the biggest challenges that I and my wife faced moving from India to Canada was adapting to the cold dark winter season.  How such days could be a little depressing and frustrating sometimes was the biggest issue recently. Here I ended up understanding more about SAD or Seasonal affective Disorder commonly known as winter depression or winter blues.

Seasonal affective Disorder is a condition which knowing unknowing one may just face it sometimes during such cold dark months. One would be find one self to have difficulty waking up in the morning, tendency to over sleep overeat, craves carbs, difficulty concentration, withdrawal from friends and family all leading to depression. According to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, this is not a unique mood disorder, but it is a specified of a major depression. Even in Nature one can see such behavior in animals, as one can see many of them hibernating for that time of year. 

Here are 5 Simple Tips that we followed to keep away from this Winter Blues.

1] Keep a Time Table:
 One of the most important suggestions for many who face this issue is first of to make a time table of the day. Make sure one do wake up and sleep at a set time and stick to that routine. Try not to change the routine, unless one has really some important things to do. Experience speaks about the timing to wake is more important than that of sleeping as , one really feel a need to sleep more even after completing 10 hours of sleep. No wake up!!

2] Eat Healthy:
 I can completely understand the need of eating more in winter. Ayurveda speaks about increase appetite especially when it is cold, but knowing this still it advises to eat healthy and watch out for healthy snacks. Try eating just because you are bored or one is in front of the big idiot box. Avoid it!! Healthy Snacks for winter, Read here more...

3] Exercise:
 It is said that though exercise is directly related to physical body, still the effects of it can be seen even on the mental front too. The best example is the role of exercise in preventing from SAD or seasonal depression. Even a walk for some time would be considering exercise in this case. Go out for a walk, go for small run or just work out in the treadmill. Playing some sort of sports like ice hockey or curling with friends or family member would also make one cheerful.

4] Spend time with friends and family:
 I am really happy in that way for who ever created these festivals like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Festivals such as those are meant for people to meet other people, friends to hang out more and family members to celebrate together. The bond that happens helps a lot with our mental front. Same is true even in such conditions and thus it is recommended that one should arrange time to spend with family members or friends more during such months. Go out for a game or so, hang out in bar or coffee shops, do something that every one love like playing card games. 

5] Hang out in crowded place:
 This is my favorite solution for such dark days here in Canada. I am very new thus have very few friends to spend time and thus the best solution that really worked with me and wife is spending time at the local mall or even coffee shops. Starbucks, Tim Horton’s & other local coffee shops are great places to meet people and have some great time. We used to visit such areas more when it is dark. It really makes a lot of difference I tell you friends.

We would love to hear more how you guys do out there. Any idea if such seasonal issues of over light do bother anyone down near the equator .Love to hear more from all of you. 

Posted by Sudeep

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4 comments: on "How to Handle Winter Blues /Depression ?"

Sheila said...

Great tips, I can just imagine what a big change it was to move to Canada.

I have found that getting out in the sun light also helps.



Anonymous said...

Those are excellent tips to use in adaptation. I actually had gone through much of the same thing when I moved to a colder climate from Florida. It was very hard to adapt to the dark skies, but in time I was able to cope with it. I would greatly appreciate it if you stopped by my health blog. The site is Have a wonderful day and stay healthy!

Ching Ya said...

Sadly here we don't have any winters. :) But sounds like some really cool ways to handle depressions though. ^^ Gather with friends and loved ones will be my pick, step away from what's making us depressed and get some fresh air.

How long will the winter last for you in Canada, Sudeep?

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Sudeep Chitnis said...

Thanks for the concern Ching Ya... winter here last for around 4 to 6 months.
Yes I am well aware that in Tropics we hardly have winter, + 18 degree Celsius is what we call winter in India. Is it similar where you stay.

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