Beating the Winter Blues

If the holidays were a bit of a letdown and the shorter days have made it harder for your regular run or walk, you might be feeling the winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

If so, it’s important not to dismiss the following feelings and symptoms:

  • „„hopelessness
  • „„changes in appetite
  • „„changes in sleep patterns
  • „„difficulty concentrating
  • „„loss of interest in things that used to be
  • pleasurable to you
  • „„feeling irritable

“These symptoms happen with all forms of depression,” explained Richmond EAP Counselor Claudia Ryan. “But these symptoms may happen in a cyclical way at certain times of year for some people.”

She said some people especially experience this kind of depression after the holidays.

“Sometimes the holidays are difficult because of reminders of losses. For some, the holiday rush gets you through and you crash in the weeks after.” If you are experiencing these kinds of feeling, it’s important to talk to a counselor about your symptoms and the best treatment.

“People don’t need to suffer because depression is often easily treated,” Ryan said. “Don’t disregard these symptoms as unimportant.”

Take Care of Yourself

A “clean-living regime” can help get you through the colder months — and make you feel better all year long.

  • „„ get enough sleep
  • „„ eat healthy foods
  • „„ take medicine as prescribed
  • „„ avoid alcohol and other mood altering substances
  • „„ exercise
  • „„ do things that bring joy into your life

Worried that you may have seasonal affective disorder? Schedule an appointment with a primary care provider today.

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