Beating the winter blues

Beating the winter blues
Posted in Blog by Optimal Med
15th January 2015

Struggling to get out of bed? Feeling down, or just tired and achy? You are not alone. Visit your doctor at this time of the year and doubtless they will tell you they have seen an endless stream of patients all suffering from the same complaints.

January is a depressing month for many. Christmas and New Year have come and gone leaving little to look forward to. Many families have overstretched their finances buying presents and are struggling with an ever increasing pile of bills to pay. Add short winter days, cold and bad weather into the mix and you have a toxic cocktail of “feel bad factors.”

Whilst feeling a bit down is normal for this time of year, recent years we have increasingly heard the term “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or “SAD.” This is a type of depression associated with the winter months and this time of year symptoms are likely to be at their worst. SAD is not yet fully understood, but in common with other types of depression symptoms include a low mood and a lack of interest in life. Sometimes also being less active than normal and sleeping more. If you are feeling a bit low, NHS Choices offers the following advice on beating winter blues: –


  1. Get as much sunlight as possible. Open curtains as early as possible and get out and about even if for only a short time.
  2. You may be suffering from a lack of vitamin D since this is normally provided by exposure to sunlight. Take foods that are rich in this vitamin such as oily fish, eggs and meat.
  3. Get a good nights sleep. That doesn’t necessarily mean longer, just better quality by ensuring you have a good full night of sleep.
  4. Exercise since even moderate daily exercise will leave you feeling far more energised.
  5. Learn to relax since trying to squeeze everything into the short daylight hours might be leaving you stressed.
  6. Finally, eat the right foods. Avoid the temptation to switch from summer salads to winter pastas. Try to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.


If the above tips don’t work, then you may require medical assistance and you should consult your doctor for advice.

If the root of your problems are financial woes, then there is also plenty of assistance available. Citizens Advice Bureau offer invaluable advice and assistance in sorting out debts including negotiating with your creditors. The excellent debt advice section of their web-site starts by saying   “If you have a problem with debt, it’s important not to panic but don’t ignore it either – it won’t go away.” We couldn’t agree more. The sooner you face up to debt problems the quicker they can be resolved and the better you will likely feel. Remember, there are always answers to problems, you just need to know where to look.