Published on October 20, 2016

Beat back winter blues

The long days of winter can make anybody feel blue.

Sad manBut if you feel especially depressed about this time every year—and then feel better when spring and summer roll around—you could have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

SAD is a type of depression. It happens, at least in part, because of the lack of sunlight during the winter months.

“The body’s natural rhythm of waking and sleeping gets thrown off,” says Molly Crumley, RN, MBA, BSN, Regional Director of Operations, Mercy LIFE Sharon Hill and Valley View. “That can make you feel sad, anxious and tired, and you might have mood swings.”

You can’t fight the changing seasons. But you can fight SAD.

Give these tips a try

Here are some tips to help keep your spirits sunny even when the weather isn’t:

Light up your life. Spend more time outside, so you get as much natural light as possible. At home, place your favorite comfy chair near a bright window to soak up any stray rays.

Stay in touch. Reach out to friends and family for a little extra love and cheer.

Keep active. Make a point of doing things you normally enjoy. Get out and walk when the weather is nice, head to the library to find a good book, or visit one of the Mercy LIFE centers.

“Not only will you find friends to socialize with, we also have a host of fun activities for you to enjoy like games, crafts, community outings and other events,” Crumley says.

Get help. If you just can’t snap out of those blue feelings, talk to your doctor.