“Winter Blues” versus Seasonal Depression
As winter transitions to spring and spring moves into summer in the Chicagoland area, many people may experience a boost in their mood and increased energy levels with the change of the seasons. However, for some individuals, the symptoms of seasonal depression may persist despite the changing climate. Seasonal depression, also known as major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern, is a form of depression where symptoms come and go at characteristic times of the year, typically beginning in the fall and remitting in the spring.
Symptoms of seasonal depression may include feelings of extreme fatigue and increased need for sleep, overeating, weight gain, and cravings for carbohydrates. If you are struggling with these symptoms and they persist despite the arrival of spring and summer, there are ways to combat your depression.
Ways to Combat Your Depression
- Get outdoors: Exposure to sunlight and fresh air can improve your mood by triggering the release of serotonin, the brain’s feel-good chemical. Additionally, spending time outside allows your skin to convert sunlight into Vitamin D, which can help to improve sleep and reduce pain. Practicing gratitude for nature is also a great way to boost mood
- Exercise: Moving your body can help to combat the symptoms of depression by improving your sleep, focus, and energy levels.
- Communicate: Depression can be isolating. Maintaining social relationships is important for self-esteem and mood. Consider joining a club, taking a class, or getting together with friends.
- Practice self-care: Caring for those around you can take a toll on your mental wellbeing. Take time for yourself by meditating, journaling, or engaging in your favorite hobby.
- Find a Therapist: If the winter blues fail to go away when spring has arrived, there could be more to the story of your suffering. Ace Counseling Group, located in the Chicagoland area, can help you understand and cope with your symptoms, allowing you to fully experience the joys of the warmer months.