Fighting the winter blues – a lighter look

The winter blues – now is the time they can set in – shorter, dark days, colder temps and holiday stresses all contribute.  Its also been a rough couple of weeks in the news – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when terrible things happen.  However, if you look for it, there are ways to fight those winter blues – a lighter side of the news, medical stories that can be uplifting, and studies that can make you feel better about life choices you have made.

Winter blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder is the official name for depressive symptoms that surge during a particular time of the year and resolve when the season is over.  Winter is the most common season for this – while the holiday season is supposed to be fun, for many it can be quite stressful and lonely.  It can be treated as any other depressive disorder – with therapy, exercise, medication, biofeedback or light therapy.  In fact, a recent study showed that light therapy works for non-seasonal depression as well.

Fun Studies

Some of these I’ve highlighted in the past, but some interesting and fun studies – although not necessarily the most scientific – maybe a smile will fight the winter blues.

Chocolate better than exercise for brain preservation – actually looked at high dose flavanols (talking a kilogram of cocoa daily) vs exercise.

Coffee use associated with lower mortality – perhaps my favorite article as it affirms my beverage choice!

The firefighter who was given a new face @NYULMC -what an amazing application of technology and medicine!

Sleeping in on weekends and holidays may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes – I’ve always told patients that having a consistent wake up time makes for better sleep!

Remember moderation, activity and good sleep go a long way in getting through the holiday season without excess weight gain – and can help you fight the winter blues.

The path to wellness begins with a proper diagnosis