As FOX8 points out, nearly 8% of U.S. adults experience seasonal depression during the winter holidays. It is a time when feelings of loneliness are intensified by the many social events that occur during the last few weeks of the year. For some, however, even after the holidays have ended, those undesirable feelings can continue to escalate.
While each individual has a different elixir of reasons why the time immediately following the holidays can be so emotionally challenging, there are a few strategies that can help you get out of your funk. The items in this article are not meant to treat or cure individuals suffering from moderate-to-severe SAD — they are intended to help people who are looking for a little nudge in the right direction so they can get back to their preholiday selves.
What are post-holiday blues?
Post-holiday blues are feelings of sadness that emerge when the holidays end. These feelings can happen for a variety of reasons. They may be triggered by setting unrealistic goals for yourself — which you believe you failed to live up to. They can be brought about by unpleasant memories of past holidays. For some, the feeling of sadness is a symptom of withdrawal from the adrenaline that accompanies the stress and/or excitement of preparing for the holidays. Lastly, the lack of light over the winter months may put individuals in a slow spiral that starts in the fall and lasts until the spring.
The symptoms that help identify seasonal depression can be as subtle as craving carbs or having lower energy levels. Other signs include mood changes, seemingly inexplicable aches and pains, sleep changes, weight gain and a withdrawal from activities you previously enjoyed.
Strategies to reduce post-holiday sadness
Depending on the underlying cause for your post-holiday sadness, your path back to wellness will entail different strategies. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can combat the effects of SAD by using prescribed medication, which can help increase serotonin levels, or try vitamin D supplements. Engaging in aerobic exercise and ensuring you get a quality night’s sleep are also essential to maintaining a positive outlook. Additionally, using a light therapy lamp for just 30-60 minutes a day can have a dramatic impact on your symptoms.
Items that can help lift you out of your post-holiday funk
Vitamin D can help the body make serotonin and dopamine, which may help alleviate some of the symptoms of seasonal depression. These softgels are manufactured to provide a highly absorbable vitamin D that is usually produced by the skin after exposure to the ultraviolet energy of the sun. This offering contains 240 softgels that are not manufactured with yeast, gluten, soy, milk, egg or shellfish. Since too much vitamin D can be toxic, this option should only be pursued if you are under a doctor’s care.
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Regular exercise is beneficial to people suffering from depression because it encourages the body to release endorphins that can increase overall feelings of well-being. This treadmill, from a trusted brand, has a cushioned deck and a speed range of 0-12 mph. It features a commercial-grade tread belt for durability and has a 300-pound weight capacity.
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When you purchase this top-quality studio cycle, you get a 30-day membership to iFIT so you can stream live and on-demand workouts. The model has an adjustable display screen, a quieter incline motor and it can auto-adjust resistance so you can enjoy a hands-free workout. The Bluetooth connectivity allows you to pair your own Bluetooth headphones to the bike for a high-quality audio experience.
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Lack of sleep has been linked to depression. If you have trouble falling and staying asleep, a white noise sound machine could be beneficial. This model by Yogasleep features a lightweight, portable design. Besides the company’s trademark white noise, this unit has 16 additional sound options that can help you get the rest you need to feel fully refreshed in the morning.
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It can be difficult to wake up on dark winter mornings. If this is the case for you, a sunrise alarm clock may be the answer. Philips’ dawn simulator features 20 brightness settings along with three wake-up sounds that help gently rouse you from your sleep with a natural light that can help combat seasonal depression.
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According to the Mayo Clinic, a lamp that offers 10,000 Lux can be effective at reducing the symptoms of winter depression. This full-spectrum UV-free light therapy lamp provides a safe way to help diminish the symptoms brought about by SAD. The evenly distributed light is flicker-free, glare-free, and hotspot-free. It can help boost your mood and increase your energy throughout the darker winter months. The slim, lightweight design makes this model suitable for on-the-go applications.
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