How to Avoid Winter Depression

Updated at: Feb 24, 2012
How to Avoid Winter Depression

Understand Depression - Learn some easy to follow tips for avoiding depression in winter.

Pratima Sharma
Mental HealthWritten by: Pratima SharmaPublished at: Feb 24, 2012

How to avoid winter depression

In medical terms, “Winter Depression” is a Seasonal Affective Disorder which affects people during a particular season of the year. People staying in colder areas away from the equator are most likely to be affected by this syndrome. Since it is a type of mental depression, it can be treated normally using medications, professional counselling, healthy living and exposure to light.

It is estimated that almost 50% of the population in North America suffers from winter depression. Lack of sunlight is the primary cause of this type of depression.  Symptoms include increased appetite, increased sleeping hours, irritability, anxiety, lethargy and general lack of interest.  The symptoms start to manifest in fall, peak in winter and subside by spring.


How to Avoid Winter Depression: Easy-to-follow Tips

  • Follow a daily routine of sleeping, eating and exercising on time. Keep some spare time to pursue a hobby like reading or painting.
  • Go for a vacation. Choose a tropical destination and take a week off from regular routine to avoid winter depression. Natural sunlight suppresses the hormone causing winter depression.  Hence, try to spend as much time in the sun as possible.
  • Postpone challenging jobs till after winter. This will ensure that you take on only limited responsibilities and fulfil them during the winter months. The more complex ones that require some degree of planning and execution can be done when one is feeling better.  
  • Invest in some good quality grow bulbs. These bulbs are used in plant nurseries to provide artificial light to indoor plants and have a light spectrum closest to natural sunlight. Spend some time daily in this light in the morning as it is known to be of immense help in maintaining a good physical and mental balance.Besides, it will also keep you energetic throughout the day. 
  • Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water to keep your body nourished and healthy.


It is a known fact that winter depression miraculously goes away without any kind of treatment as soon as spring sets in but why wait till you are overweight, overburdened and your personal liferuns in a mess. If you follow the above mentioned simple measures, you can effortlessly sail through the winter months. Why crib and stay indoors with a glum look while you can enjoy the snow and hot chocolate?  


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