Winter blues: How to Overcome Seasonal Mood Swings

Winter blues: How to Overcome Seasonal Mood Swings


Winter blues: how to overcome seasonal mood swings

With the advent of the first frost, the mood may change. This is winter melancholy called Winter blues. Ahead of a long season of cold weather, until next summer – six months. But this time can be spent on the positive. The main thing is to follow simple rules.

"Winter blues: how to overcome seasonal mood swings"
Hindustan Times: Winter blues: how to overcome seasonal mood swings

What are “winter blues”?

In scientific literature, winter melancholy was first described in 1984 by the American professor Norman Rosenthal. His first bestseller “Winter Blues” (the word blues – “despondency, blues”, comes from the English idiom blue devils – “green melancholy”, from which the popular genre of music also got its name), went through several reprints. It became one of the most popular books in the US. Perhaps because the work is based on the author’s personal experience: Rosenthal left sunny Africa for the sake of the city of Bethesda (Maryland, USA) and described in his work his own process of adaptation to life in the north.

According to his concept of seasonal melancholy, this phenomenon is:

much more common in women than in men;

common among people living in northern latitudes, where daylight hours in winter are much shorter than in the south;


most often does not interfere with daily activities, but can cause a feeling of loss of energy.

How to understand what “winter blues” is playing for you …


Signs of seasonal mood swings:

a feeling of inexplicable sadness;

lack of motivation to perform energy-consuming actions;

drowsiness, difficulty falling asleep;

the desire to lead a sedentary lifestyle;

reluctance to get out of bed on weekends;

increased craving for unbalanced food.

… and what will help to cope with it

It is possible to return peppy notes to winter days much earlier than spring comes. Here are five tips to help you overcome seasonal melancholy and gain energy.

Organize a trip “for the sun”

"Winter blues: how to overcome seasonal mood swings"
BizzBuzz: Winter blues: how to overcome seasonal mood swings

The sun is a source of vitamin D, which is involved in the regulation of circadian rhythms. Mood, energy, and vitality are directly dependent on the level of this nutrient [2]. If you live where it is cloudy in winter, try to take a vacation and go to warm coastal countries or at least to a ski resort – there, in parallel with conquering the ski slopes, you can get your share of the “sunny” vitamin.


Social interaction can help protect against seasonal melancholy. According to studies obtained by German scientists at Kafkas University (Turkey), it helps to reduce the level of stress hormones [3]. Exchange impressions, talk about your feelings, and do not sit at home during these long winter months! Let no snowfall cancel warm friendly gatherings in a cafe, a snowball tournament, or a spontaneous pajama party. The time you spend with family and friends can make a big difference in how you feel.

Go in for sports in Winter blues:

According to research by a group of scientists from the School of Social and Public Medicine at the University of Bristol (UK), any kind of physical activity releases endorphins that can increase energy levels [4]. Spend at least 30 minutes a day on your usual workouts or other activities. Take every opportunity to go for a walk, and learn to enjoy – including winter.

Follow the regime

Geoffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young were awarded the Nobel Prize in 2017 for their work on circadian rhythms. They demonstrated that clear mode can help to stabilize the internal clock. Attempt to sleep and wake up at the same time. As a result, you’ll have more energy during the day and will have defeated drowsiness.

Eat Balanced

According to studies conducted under the auspices of the US Department of Health and Human Services, eating foods such as white bread, white rice, pasta, and potato chips can cause drowsiness. Try to include daily grains, fruits, and vegetables, foods rich in vitamin D and protein: these foods will help increase energy levels.

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