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"Ask the Experts" Wellness Blog

Beat the Winter Blues

Beat the Winter Blues

Did you know that there is a “most depressing day of the year?”  This year it is January 23, 2012.  Read more about it at: http://www.squidoo.com/depressingday

I know, I know, you might be wondering why “the dietitian” is talking about the “winter blues.”  Well, I am not really going to talk about the “winter blues” I am going to upload a couple of links for you.

There is a relationship between “the blues” and food.  Sometimes if you feel a “low” mood, you might turn to food to feel better.  Usually the food does not help for longer than the time it takes you to eat it.  But, there are ways to help feel better.  Please follow the following links to find out how.

10 Ways to Beat the Holiday Blues (SparkPeople.com) http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/slideshow.asp?show=47

Laugh Your Way to Health and Happiness (Sparkpeople.com) http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=655

If your depression seems to be lingering or friends express concern or it’s interfering with your quality of life, it might be time to talk to a professional.  Here is a bit about depression from the National Institutes of Mental Health.  Most importantly don’t wait too long to get help.  Depression is treatable.

If you have depression, you may feel exhausted, helpless, and hopeless. It may be extremely difficult to take any action to help yourself. But as you begin to recognize your depression and begin treatment, you will start to feel better.

To Help Yourself

  • Do not wait too long to get evaluated or treated. There is research showing the longer one waits, the greater the impairment can be down the road. Try to see a professional as soon as possible.
  • Try to be active and exercise. Go to a movie, a ballgame, or another event or activity that you once enjoyed.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities and do what you can as you can.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Do not expect to suddenly “snap out of” your depression. Often during treatment for depression, sleep and appetite will begin to improve before your depressed mood lifts.
  • Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced or changing jobs, until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Remember that positive thinking will replace negative thoughts as your depression responds to treatment.
  • Continue to educate yourself about depression.

National Institute of Mental Health—Depression http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/index.shtml

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