Many people experience mild to moderate winter depression. Severe winter depression, known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is marked by depressed mood, sleeping more than usual, increased appetite, cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, and weight gain.
If depression is a problem for you, talk to your healthcare provider. They may recommend some form of light therapy, which relieves winter depression in many people. Additionally, getting enough sleep is essential. Focus on your priorities and eliminate low-priority activities.
Weight gain due to depression is a real concern. Our lifestyles are sedentary and our obesity rate is increasing. Those extra pounds acquired over the winter may stay with you and increase yearly. If every year you gain 5 to 10 pounds, in just 5 years it can lead to obesity. Obesity increase our chances of developing chronic disease.
People gain weight during the winter months for different reasons. Changes in behavior can lead to health benefits. Therefore, come up with a plan for staying active. Think about factors that have made exercise during the winter season difficult in the past and then try to come up with some creative solutions to these barriers. Schedule exercise into your calendar the same way you schedule parties, meetings and family gatherings.
Exercise can be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression. People who experience winter depression can try combining exercise and light therapy by exercising outdoors when time and weather permit.