By Stephanie Green
Winter can be a wonderful season: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day all fall in one three-month period. However, aside from its delightful holidays, the winter days are shorter, nights are longer, and depression is more common, especially among those who are already prone. There is no need to fret, however, because natural solutions: light, candles, scent, and a little bit of love.
Depression is more common in the winter months, and is especially more common among women between the ages of 20 and 40. There is a disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD (appropriately named). Symptoms can include, but are not limited to: fatigue, lack of interest in normal activities, social withdrawal, craving foods high in carbohydrates, and/or weight gain.
It is common knowledge that exercise does not simply keep your body fit, but your mind as well. A healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule can keep a person above the almost inevitable sadness that sets in during the darker, winter months.
If you are going to run or walk outside, be sure to bundle up and bring music along with you to combat the cold. Indoor exercise is, of course, also an option: fitness DVDs and yoga are two simple ideas.
For many, the woes of winter include being stuck in the house because of cold temperatures and several inches of snow on the ground. A light box is a simple idea that provides a small but bright light sources and the vitamin D necessary for your body. Although many could argue that it does as well as the lights in your home, it is much more calming – much like a nightlight or a candle to read by – and is a good solution in combatting SAD. Try a Philips Golite Blu Energy Light – Portable Light Therapy Device.
Another simple approach to adding more light and happiness into your home during the winter months comes with candles, oils, and other forms of aromatherapy. Candles do not provide as much light as the sun or as a light box, but the scents can help keep you in a steady mood. One idea is to light candles that have scents that calm you: apple pie, pine, flowers or fresh laundry.
It is not always easy to understand the darker feelings that some of us are susceptible during the winter months, but there are simply and timed solutions. There is no reason to believe that the light has gone out when it is as easy as connecting lit match to a scented candle.
‘Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)’: http://www.psychiatry.org/seasonal-affective-disorder.
‘Light Box Therapy’: http://www.psycheducation.org/depression/LightTherapy.htm