Struggling to cope at certain points during the year, especially during cooler months, is quite common. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons and begins and ends at about the same times, with symptoms tending to affect people during autumn and winter. While you should contact your doctor if you think your mental health is being impacted, spiritual mentors and positive speakers Ani and Esther have some advice for staying positive all year round.
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Keep warm: Being cold can promote depression, so look to wrap up whenever possible. Increase your body temperature by eating hot foods and drinking warm drinks. "Also, make sure you are wearing warm clothes and keep your house temperature between 18-21 degrees Celsius," they told us.
Get outside: Getting as much natural daylight as possible is key to beating winter blues. The best times to go outside are the middle of the day and when it is brighter than usual. Studies show that a midday walk can be helpful for coping with winter blues. Plus, light exposure will boost vitamin D levels.
Plan a vacation: "Planning a holiday is a perfect way of feeling positive about things to come," explained Ani and Esther. "Not only will it give you something to look forward to, it will also give the opportunity to connect on a deeper level and explore a new place."
Light boxes: Light boxes can be great for seasonal depression. They produce at least 10 times more light than ordinary lighting and can be positioned in your home for comfort.
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Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate has been proven to boost moods. Researchers believe the high polyphenol content, a type of antioxidant, can be very beneficial for general health. And it's delicious!
Meditate: Meditation reduces stress and encourages a healthy lifestyle. "It increases happiness and helps sufferers of seasonal depression get a good night of sleep," the mentors shared.
Take up a new hobby: An active mind can diminish seasonal depression. Going to the gym or writing in a journal can contribute to a positive mindset.
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