During the holidays, and the winter months following, many people get what's commonly known as the "wintertime blues." That feeling of melancholy can settle in when the days become darker and the weather gets gloomy. Others get depressed because they've given up on their New Year's resolution too quickly, or when bills start piling up after financing all of the holiday gifts. If you're battling substance abuse issues then all of the stress above, combined with addiction, can make dealing with seasonal depression a lot worse, and possibly even create relapse.
Because of these factors, plus many more, one out of every five people in the US suffers from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. These symptoms often manifest as feeling sleepier than normal, being too tired to socialize, having no energy to exercise, or craving more sweets or meals loaded up with heavy carbs.
Does this sound familiar to you? Even though we're still several months away from the sunny weather, the good news is that there are several things that you can do to keep these feelings at bay. Granted, if you're feeling like you should see a doctor or therapist for your depression, please seek treatment immediately to avoid any life threatening, or relapse situations. However, there are plenty of home remedies that you can try to keep yourself from feeling like you're being buried by sadness.
Check out the list of ideas we've put together for today's topic. We're sure these tips will help keep you up when life might have you feeling down. Do you, or a loved one need drug treatment and/or alcohol rehab in Columbus OH? If so, Legacy Freedom can help you! Our outpatient facility is perfect for those battling addiction who need holiday substance abuse help.
Beating the Winter Blues
Exercise - The first thing you need to do is get up and get moving. Whether it's inside your residence or going outside, you have to get some exercise. Many will tell you that getting at least thirty minutes of exercise every day will make you feel a lot better, and it's the truth. Getting exercise does not have to mean buying a gym membership, or even extra workout equipment, all you have to do is some push ups, sit ups, crunches, or even follow a work out video on YouTube. There are a lot of options that you can use at home to get plenty of exercise.
If the weather permits, go outside for a short, brisk walk, or a long hike, or even skiing. Being outside also allows you to breathe in some fresh air and get some much needed vitamin D from the sun.
Vitamins and Supplements - Speaking of vitamin D, it's something that you will always need. The sun is our biggest resource of naturally occurring vitamin D. As we move into the winter months, the days become shorter and there are not as many hours of daylight available. Because of this, our levels dip. Nothing matches the warming rays from the sun but it has been proven,thanks to a study performed by NYU, that if you suffer from SAD, taking vitamin D supplements can help improve your mood. Even Dr. Andrew Weil recommends it. He suggests that people should take at least 2,000 IU of Vitamin D daily.
Vitamin D isn't the only supplement you should consider. Melatonin is another one that can help you rest better and improve seasonal depression episodes. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle. When the days get shorter, and it is darker for longer periods of time, your sleep cycle can get out of whack and this can be a great drug-free option to help you rest better. It should be noted that you might want to discuss taking melatonin with your doctor. He or she will be able to give you some guidance as to the best time to take it for optimal results.
You Are What You Eat - Have you ever heard the old saying "you are what you eat?" Well, it's true. What you put into your stomach can have a direct effect on how you feel, your mood, and your energy levels. For instance, if all you ever eat is processed and fast food, then you're always going to feel a little crappy. That's why you should avoid these refined foods, like white bread, instant rice, and anything with a lot of sugar. Food like this will zap your energy levels which can help create mood swings. Furthermore, there aren't any real nutrients in them.
You should keep your food focus aimed in on complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat breads, brown rice, veggies, and fruit. You should also stay well hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day. Eating a healthy diet will provide your body with nutrients, stabilize your blood sugar, and build up your energy levels.
Avoid Isolation - In other words, do not become a hermit. You might feel a little isolated after the passing of the holidays. After all, your social calendar might be a little less packed without as many family events and friendly gatherings. However, that does not mean you have to sit at home alone and wallow in self-pity.
Actually, doctors will tell the you the more you withdraw from society, the worse off you will feel. Also, when you isolate yourself, you're more vulnerable to developing other more serious mental health problems. Isolation can also cause you to relapse and need more services for drug and alcohol rehab in Columbus OH. That's why you should get out of the house and use this time to do something fun with other people.
You should never underestimate the power of having your friends and family, or other support system members around you when you're feeling down. So when you're feeling blue, ask for a pick-me-up. This can even include doing something with a coworker or neighbor. It can even be something simple, like a quick chat over coffee, or just a phone call. You can even go out and meet new people by volunteering or taking a photography class.
So whenever you start to feel down, just refer back to this post and be sure you are following these easy tips.
Dependable Drug and Alcohol Rehab in Columbus OH
Drug addiction, alcohol abuse and other forms of substance abuse are controlling diseases that can get worse over the holidays and the winter season. Legacy Freedom Treatment Center knows how important it is to receive effective, comprehensive treatment that is specialized to each individual, and not a group. Our outpatient drug and alcohol rehab in Columbus OH includes holistic and alternative therapies that are customized to fit your needs. It’s not just a 12-step, or a one-size-fits-all program; it’s about real recovery with real people. Our outpatient methodology also allows your loved ones to be able to be home for the holidays, go to work, and attend school!