If you’re feeling gloomy, sad, tired, or down during the winter months, you may be experiencing the “winter blues”, also known as seasonal depression. Seasonal depression occurs when less natural sunlight is available. During the winter we have darker months and shorter days, therefore less sunlight available to us. To find out if you are experiencing Seasonal Depression use the checklist below as a guideline.

Symptoms of Seasonal Depression include:

  • Fatigue, Tiredness, or overall lack of Energy
  • Sadness
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Irritability
  • Changes in sleep patterns

If you have experienced most of the symptoms above then you may be experiencing Seasonal Depression. The following helpful tips can better manage the sadness and fatigue you feel during the winter months.

Helpful Tips to Fight Seasonal Depression:

  • Get at least 20 minutes (or as much as you can) of natural sunlight daily
  • Use a light lamp
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Regulate your sleep schedule
  • Plan social activities with friends and family
  • Call a counselor
  • Be kind to yourself

The important question to ask is, How much are my symptoms affecting my daily life, especially in work or school environments and within relationships? If the disruption is significant then it’s important to reach out for support and guidance. Contacting a counselor can be very helpful to recognize triggers to your symptoms and to develop healthy coping skills to better manage your mood and energy level.

These tips along with guidance from a counselor can help you to beat the ‘winter blues’ and have you looking forward to sunny days.