The winter months can make many of us feel blue. For some people the cold, gray days of winter are manageable, but for others they can lead to a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. SAD symptoms include

  • Depression
  • Energy loss
  • Listless behavior
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating

But you can fight SAD. Here are a few ways to ward off the winter blues.

Get outside whenever you can. A daily walk in the middle of the day, when the light is brightest, can be a great morale boost. If the sun’s out, all the better.

Keep warm. Being cold can make you even more depressed. Enjoy hot drinks and hot food. Dress for the weather, and keep your home thermostat at a temperature that’s nice and comfortable.

See the light. Light can help reduce seasonal depression. Turn on the lights at home, especially on dark mornings and gloomy afternoons. Consider investing in a light box. Sitting in front of a light box for about 30 minutes a day can ease the blues.

Eat healthy. A healthy diet can boost your mood, increase energy and help you control your weight over winter. Take in plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and go easy on the carbohydrates. Here are a few food tips from to help fight SAD:

Lean proteins carry plenty of amino acids, which may positively affect your mood. They’re also a great for energy. Salmon and roast chicken are two sources.

Omega-3 fatty acids offer health benefits and could influence your mood. High levels of omega-3 fatty acids are found in salmon, walnuts, and flax seeds.

Berries help combat stress, which can spur depression and bring on fatigue. Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are delicious and can fight stress.

Cut the sugar. Sugar will give you that nice high, but the crash afterward could easily take you down lower than you were before.

Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin,” can help improve your mood. Your body makes it by using cholesterol and absorbing natural sunshine—as little as 10 minutes a day—can help. Vitamin D sources include milk, egg yolks, and bone fish. Vitamin D is also available in supplement form.

Dark chocolate is always a treat. It has high polyphenol content, a type of antioxidant that can help improve mood. A dark chocolate bar with the highest cocoa content available could do wonders.

The bottom line on the winter blues is to treat yourself well, know that winter is temporary, and spring is not that far away. But if the SAD symptoms overpower you, reach out to a health professional to help you beat the depression. And keep in mind that Active Life Daily offers a range of thoughtfully sourced nutritional supplements and vitamins that may help fight SAD. Consult with your physician or a registered dietitian/nutritionist to find out which supplements might be appropriate for you.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.