With winter comes cold weather, reduced sunshine, and the potential to feel a bit depressed. Winter blues are common and can cause fatigue and mood swings, although they don’t normally hamper your ability to find pleasure in life. Winter blues normally go away on their own or can be helped by getting more sunlight, taking vitamin D supplements, or adding certain foods such as omega-3 fatty acids and protein to your diet.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is more than the winter blues, it is a form of depression linked to the change of seasons and the shortening of daylight hours. It occurs in areas of the world where there is less sun during specific seasons. This lack of sunlight can upset circadian rhythms, which influence our sleep-wake cycle, and cause deficiencies of certain vitamins and hormones in the brain, such as serotonin, which helps regulate mood.
TAS is much more prevalent in northern latitudes of the world than in southern regions. It usually occurs in late fall and winter. Symptoms include mood swings, fatigue, depression, feelings of hopelessness, and social withdrawal. The link between seasonal depression and light was first identified by researchers at the National Institutes of Health in the early 1980s. . Treatment includes behavior changes such as increasing access to daylight or clinical approaches such as light therapy (phototherapy), talk therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications such as certain antidepressants.
Citing studies from Mount Sinai REVOLV study, which was sponsored by View Inc.; the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience; the North American Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics; and other health organizations, View has compiled a list of reasons why you might be feeling the winter blues and how you can fight it.