Combat Depression in Winter

A clear relationship exists between depression and dementia, so it’s important to pay attention to feelings of sadness, apathy and social withdrawal. Depression is typically characterized by long periods of sadness as opposed to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is often caused by changes in hormone levels and circadian rhythms during the winter months.

Depression is a serious condition that often requires the help of a mental health professional. However, combatting both depression and SAD (and dementia, too) can start with healthy lifestyle habits:

  1. Maintain a healthy diet and refrain from loading up on comfort food laden with simple carbohydrates. Be mindful of alcoholic intake which can make us feel tired and depressed.
  2. Spend at least 15 minutes in the sunshine each day. Exposure to sunlight provides vitamin D and elevates mood. Some people benefit from light therapy.
  3. Find a way to exercise despite the colder weather. Many activities can be done indoors with minimal equipment. Exercise will help avoid winter weight gain and also improve mood. Exercise with a friend to stay motivated.
  4. Talk to your doctor about supplements that might help, including Vitamin D and Omega 3 oil.
  5. Get enough sleep.
  6. Stay engaged in your favorite activities.
  7. Make plans. Spend time with family and friends,
  8. If you are feeling sad for an extended time, talk to someone
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