By Preeti (Rajpreet Taneja) Taneja, R.S.W, M.S.W, B.S.W
Founder and Lead Therapist, Canadian Therapy Preeti@canadiantherapy.com
If you live in a colder climate, you know it can be challenging dealing with a lack of sunlight and being stuck inside due to frigid temps during winter months. It is for these reasons many people experience what is called “the winter blues.”
But seasonal depression goes much deeper than this. Also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder – or SAD – seasonal depression results in fatigue, a loss of interest in socializing and activities, weight gain, and more. Symptoms usually begin to present in the fall and last until the sunnier, warmer days of spring.
If you suffer from seasonal depression, there are things you can do to stop it in its tracks this year:
Eat a Proper Diet
When it’s cold and nasty out, and we’re feeling sad and depressed, most of us will reach for those comfort foods laden with processed sugars and trans fats. But these foods will usually make us feel even more tired and depressed. To add insult to injury, eating bad foods only helps us to gain weight, which can make us feel more depressed. It’s recommended to maintain a diet consisting of whole foods rich in healthy fats and carbs, some quality protein, and vitamins and minerals. Eating healthy foods and taking care of your physical and mental health will help combat feelings of depression.
People with seasonal depression tend to isolate themselves during the winter months, and this can, again, exacerbate the depression. Do your best to stay involved with your social circle. Friends can be a great support during this challenging time.
And be sure to connect with people who provide comfort and support by spending time with people you feel good with. When including social activities, create routines that are both realistic and manageable. It’s okay to re-evaluate your normal day-to-day lifestyle to include something different during this time.
You may also want to speak with someone about how you’re feeling. A therapist can offer tools and advice to help you navigate your feelings. If you’d like more information about how counseling can help with seasonal depression, please give my office a call!
If you are interested in treatment options, please visit our website to book an appointment with a date and time that works for you. I’d be happy to discuss how I may be able to help, and I do offer online therapy for those who feel more comfortable accessing help from home.