(NaturalNews) The winter months are characterized by cold weather, dreary days and shorter hours of available daylight, all of which can lead to a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Although most people think that having SAD causes them to feel depressed throughout the winter months, there are also some very surprising additional causes that can make individuals feel tired and less hopeful.
Lack of exercise
Many individuals use winter weather as an excuse to stay put inside the house and forget their regular exercise routine. But physical movement on a regular basis helps stimulate the flow of endorphins in the body as a depression preventative. Being a couch potato can lead to feeling sorry for yourself, but taking a walk in nature, as well as participating in such winter activities as skiing, skating or snowboarding, can help prevent getting a bad case of winter blues.
The bills for all those lavish Christmas presents come due after the holiday season is finished, causing many individuals to feel financially pressured. The New Year is always the perfect time for families to construct a budget to follow, along with a game plan for paying off their debts as quickly as possible. Doing something constructive about the debt that an individual owes is always more helpful than simply worrying about debt, which really does nothing to change a family's financial picture.
Having to deal with family holiday gatherings can spark depression in many individuals who go against their better judgment and spend time with family members who may be judgmental, critical or just plain mean. It's perfectly okay to bow out of social engagements that tend to be too stressful or bring up bad feelings. Engage instead in an activity that brings pleasure and relaxation.
Focusing on consuming foods that are high in fat and sugar content upsets a person's metabolism during the holiday season, and people tend to indulge in a lot of high-calorie foods at holiday parties. But this way of eating can quickly cause a blood sugar imbalance that leads to depressed thinking. Individuals should remember to eat a well balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein, as well as drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Many individuals mistakenly think that they will feel better if they hibernate during the winter months rather than continue to reach out to friends and family members for normal social interaction. Feelings of isolation during winter is another leading cause of depression that can easily be fixed if an individual simply picks up the phone to keep in touch or makes future plans that gives them something to look forward to.
By recognizing the causes of winter depression beyond seasonal affective disorder, individuals can help lighten a depressed mood or avoid feeling the depression that too many people think is just a normal part of winter.