Pediatrician at Eskenazi Health
As old man winter finally starts to release his tight-fisted grip on Central Indiana, most of us have had our fill of being cooped up inside during these recent frigid months. As spring inches closer, we’re anxious to spend more time outside, but as we wait for those days of warmer weather to arrive, some of us are endeavoring to shake off the dreaded “winter blues,” which is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Although the “winter blues” can seem all-encompassing, there are a number of ways to lessen its grasp as we long for spring to arrive. About 5 percent of adults in the U.S. experience SAD and it typically lasts about 40 percent of the year. It is more common among women than men, and found more often in people living far from the equator where there are fewer daylight winter hours.
Signs that the “winter blues” may be affecting you include sleeping habits that differ from your usual routine, a lack of energy, difficulty feeling motivated to participate in life and feelings of sadness, emptiness or guilt. Suggestions to combat the winter blues include doing whatever you can to stay active by going for a run or a walk in the middle of the day while soaking in as much natural sunlight as possible, especially on brighter days.
Since being cold can add to your feelings of depression, do all you can to stay as warm as you need to in order to be comfortable. Be meticulous in dressing in layers to stay warm when you go outside and stay warm with hot drinks and hot food. During your free time, make the effort to visit with family and friends. Socializing has been proven to be a benefit to your overall mental health and helps ward off the “winter
You might also want to commit yourself to a healthy diet that will help you feel better, give you energy and will improve your outlook on life. If you are in need of a pediatrician for your child or a primary care physician for yourself or anyone else, please call 317-880-7666 or visit www.eskenazihealth.edu/doctors.