Study says that depression and anxiety peak during bleak winter months; 10 tips to battle them
Winter season marks the time of Christmas and New Year and fills us up with the festive feels. It’s the time when schools and colleges are closed for a few days and families take some time off from their mundane lives and go on vacations.
However, with the winter setting in and the festive spirit around, it’s not necessary for everybody to feel the same way. In fact, research suggests that winter season is the time when negative and depressing thoughts also pop in and worsens a person’s mental stability.
As per a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2013, Google searches for information across all major mental disorders peak during the colder months. This further suggested that mental health problems are more strongly related to seasons. For people, especially battling seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bleak winter months can be very painful to pass.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that it is common for a person with anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression and vice versa. Dr Arsheeya Taj, Consultant – Psychiatrist at MGM Healthcare, Chennai, has suggested a few tips to identify and work for your mental health.
1. Communication: Speak to someone who is close to you and understands you well.
2. Distraction: It is important to distract the mind from unhappy or depressing thoughts. Read a book, listen to music or follow some other hobby to distract the negativity.
3. Acceptance: “This too shall pass”—repeatedly believe in this to accept the reality.
4. Take a break to take a breath: Make some time out to relax and calm your nerves.
5. Say ‘NO’ to ‘temporary reliefs’: Stay away from intoxications like alcohol or nicotine.
6. Say ‘YES’ to exercise: A good long walk or run helps in mind to clear.
7. Adequate Sleep: It’s been proven that sleeping is an active practice that increases your ability to overcome stress.
8. Eat a healthy diet: Body needs fuel to function so eat well and stay hydrated.
9. Stay positive: Try to understand what is causing unhappiness to you and try to stay away from it.
10. Get some sunlight: Studies have suggested that a good dose of Vitamin D helps in relaxing the mind. So, get up, step out and increase your body’s happy hormones.