We are entering the shortest days of the year.
Oct 21-February 21 are the darkest months here in the Northern Hemisphere and that can take a toll on your mental health even if you don’t have seasonal depression.
You may have noticed a decrease in energy and motivation, sleeping longer, difficulty waking up, lower moods, and generally feeling sluggish.
Here are a few tips to beat the dark day blues:
This is different from a UV lamp for light therapy. A sun lamp simulates the sunrise eliminating the unpleasantness of your alarm going off and waking up in a completely dark room.
It’s an alarm clock that starts to brighten your bedroom a few minutes before you are scheduled to wake up.
We recommend this one (not a paid ad, just a product we like!) A UV light can be used to treat seasonal depression, talk to your doctor as some people with a history of mania or Bipolar Disorder may experience worsened symptoms with UV light therapy. Here’s a link for more information on light therapy.
Most of us living above the Mason Dixon Line are vitamin D deficient. Even if you take a supplement currently, it’s good to check with your doctor to ensure you are taking the right dose for therapeutic effects and for your personal biology.
Getting as much natural sunlight as possible is a good idea all year long but especially in the winter months. Bundle up and get outside, even if it’s a walk around the block on your lunch break.
Adequate consumption of fruits and veggies:
A healthy and balanced diet helps improve energy and how you feel overall. Unidentified nutritional deficiencies can worsen mental health. Add an extra serving or two daily.
Get up and get moving:
Especially if you are feeling sluggish in the early evening, try some gentle stretching or yoga. Get your blood flowing. Rigorous exercise is best, but light tasking around the house will do (especially in the evening).
If you find your mental health is significantly worsened, talk to your doctor and or therapist about additional interventions to manage your mood effectively. Looking for a therapist? We have counselors with openings, check out our team page to see who is accepting new clients.