As the clock strikes 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday each November, daylight saving comes to an end and early sunsets make for dark winter days. Not only are these days darker in a physical sense, but they can also bring on a darker connotation mentally and emotionally. According to a study conducted by Columbia University Irving Medical Center, seasonal affective disorder affects 10 million Americans. An even greater portion of Americans, many likely undiagnosed, suffer from milder cases of the winter blues.
Clickbait stories can fill your digital newsfeed with promises of cutting-edge diets and activities to boost your mood, but Dr. Tiffany Bozovich, owner of Bozovich Wellness Center in Chesterton, Indiana, suggests keeping it simple.
Bozovich breaks down her defense against winter blues into three steps:
Bozovich also adds that it’s important to monitor and decrease sugar intake if prone to feeling down in the dreary months. “Sugar is probably the number one offender that can make things worse during the winter,” she says. In the holiday season especially, people ingest more sugar than they normally do, which can deplete the gut of good bacteria.
“Serotonin is made in the gut, so if your gut isn’t working well, that little happy pill in your internal body isn’t working and you’re at higher risk to be affected with depression and anxiety.”
If you find that the suggestions mentioned above aren’t cutting it for you, reach out to your primary care provider to help get to the root of the problem of seasonal affective disorder. Just because the frigid temperatures and darkness of the winter months can make the outside feel doom-and-gloom, doesn’t mean you have to feel that way on the inside.
February 21, 2023