EASY WAYS TO AVOID SEASONAL DEPRESSION – ANKIT (INDIA)
Why I thought of writing about it?
For more than 16 months now, I am living in Estonia, where winters are dark, snowy, unpredictably long and dark. Estonia has beautiful summers and autumns but harsh winters. In winter, daytime shrinks to only a few hours; snowfall continues for many weeks. For many of you in Estonia, it could be your first experience of such extreme cold. So, you might feel it is depressing. But there are many fun ways around seasonal blues to keep the cheer alive which I would like to share with you!
Before coming to Estonia, I knew that it has four distinct seasons – spring, summer, autumn, winter. All four seasons are said to be of about the same duration. But the real feeling is slightly different. I feel that here there is only a short summer and a very long winter. And it is during this long, cold season that we become prone to depression.
First of all, what is depression?
Depression is a mental health condition that affects moods, thoughts and behaviour.
What are the symptoms of depression?
- Feeling of not wanting to do anything, laziness all the time
- Sleepless nights
- Negative thoughts (Always finding something to curse or blaming others)
- Slowing down of thoughts and actions
- Uncontrollable crying
Also, it does not help to keep ourselves locked in the dormitory room or apartment with our laptop, running FB on it for hours on end. Generally we also tend to have a disturbed sleep cycle, working during the night and sleeping in the daytime, while giving in to temptation for eating foods like pizzas, burgers and instant noodles.
So, how to feel cheerful and knock down depression?
1. Sleep early or not too late and for at least seven hours.
Sleeping at night helps you to concentrate better, be in a great mood, and make quicker decisions. It also improves immunity and has many other positive effects on health.
2. Practice some kind of sport, hit the gym, do yoga or meditation.
Most of you know about sports and gym but may not be aware of the benefits of yoga and meditation. So here are a few links where you can check this out.
Guided Meditation with – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji
A very Effective yoga technique – Surya Namaskar
3. Talk to your family and childhood friends regularly to feel emotionally connected and for a feeling of positivity.
4. Go out for a walk on a daily basis. And on each of the rare occasion that it is sunny out there, go grab some sunshine!
5. Go for social events. Especially in Tartu, I know there are many.
6. Do something to make others feel better.
This will give you an immense feeling of happiness. So, some of the things you can do are: buy fruits from the old persons selling their farm products even if you don’t need them, visit old age homes, orphanages, animal shelters etc.
7. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits as much as you can.
Although there may not be a great variety available in winter, there are many which help a lot to negate the depression. A few of them are berries, citrus, broccoli and beetroot which are easily available in Estonian markets.
If you follow these tips, you will never feel depressed even if you don’t experience sunlight for many days and the season will not feel wintry and blue, but happy and cheerful!