Hoodie Hoo! Beating the Winter Blues

February 20, 2018

Depressed woman with winter blues sits on a snowy park bench

Hoodie Hoo! Beating the Winter Blues

Every year on February 20th, people living in the Northern Hemisphere celebrate Hoodie Hoo Day! Though this might seem like a silly holiday, it’s actually a real celebration observed by people wanting to chase away the winter blues and prepare for spring. But what exactly are the winter blues? You might be surprised to find that winter blues depression is a serious problem that affects over 60 people in the US each year. This type of depression can leave one down, hopeless, and even suicidal. Thankfully, winter blues cures do exist and surprisingly, one remedy rests at the bottom of your teacup.

What Are Winter Blues?

“Winter blues” is a slang term for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that usually presents itself in the fall and winter months. In general, women are more at risk than men and, although SAD is rarely diagnosed before the age of 20, it’s more common in young adults. The further you are from the equator, the more likely you are to be affected by the winter blues.

Winter Blues Symptoms

Unlike other forms of depression, winter blues begins and ends at the same time each year. If you feel unexplained sadness creeping up on you during autumn but clearing out by spring break, you may have SAD.  

Common symptoms associated with winter blues include the following:

  •         feeling depressed
  •         lack of energy
  •          trouble concentrating
  •          Oversleeping
  •         appetite changes (craving carbs)
  •          weight gain
Winter Blues depressed in bed

What Causes Winter Blues?

Winter blues depression is thought to be brought on by a lack of sunlight. This is why people living further from the equator are more susceptible to SAD. If you have a family history of winter blues, another type of depression, or bipolar disorder you are also at a higher risk.

Though scientists think there are many factors that play a part in a person developing winter blues, the most likely culprit is reduced sunlight in the wintertime causing serotonin (brain chemical levels) to drop, triggering a bout of depression. Melatonin levels can change as well, leading you to become moody and need more sleep. All of these factors combined (family history, decreased serotonin, changes in melatonin) can lead to winter blues.

What Can I Do About Winter Blues?

If you think that you might have SAD (winter blues), it’s important to see a doctor about how you are feeling. Often, winter blues is treated with medication and therapy, but there are some really effective home remedies that can be used as a winter blues cure at home as well.

The first is to brighten up your life! Though you can’t make
the sun comes out, there are artificial alternatives that can
be used to provide your body with the light it needs to beat
the winter blues. Called a lightbox, this tool can give your
body what it needs (light) and help you feel better in no time!

The second winter blues cure is exercise. This can actually be a tough one since someone with the winter blues isn’t going to want to get up and exercise. Instead, you’ll probably want to sleep and eat! But if you can convince yourself to get up and get just an hour of exercise three days a week, your winter blues may leave.

If you’ve read my blog, you know that I recommend tea for lots of things: weight loss, stress relief, improved dental health. That’s because tea can promote all of those things. Science shows that warm beverages (especially tea) can serve as a winter blues cure as well. winter blues cure is teaSo, scientifically speaking, there’s a reason why you might be tempted to curl up with an interesting book and a warm cup of tea on a cold winter day. It’s good for you.

      You should also pay special attention to what you are eating. One interesting thing about the winter blues is that they can cause you to crave carbs like an addict craves drugs. Science studies long suggested that lack of serotonin can cause both depression and carb cravings. The problem is that giving into these cravings doesn’t lead to a lasting winter blues cure. In fact, it does the opposite. Because carbs can lead to weight gain, giving into the craving will only fuel your depression and create an unhealthy cycle.  Instead of giving in to carbs, feed your body with foods that are high in protein and fiber. Although it might not feel as good at the moment, your body will thank you later.

      Another thing to try when trying to beat winter blues depression is essential oils. Because these oils have been trending over the last few years, it’s easy to dismiss their use as just another “fad.” But it turns out that there is some scientific research that suggests using essential oils can assist in feeling better when it comes to many types of depression.  I use essential oils in my tea blends and diffuse oils like peppermint and citrus fruits for a pick-me-up and lavender in the evening.

It’s important to remember that when dealing with any serious medical condition, no blog article can be a substitute for medical advice or the care of a physician. But hopefully, some of the tips provided can help you feel better while we wait for spring’s arrival.

Do you have a winter blues cure that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear about it- leave it int he comments below or email me at hello@physiquetea.com.

Have a beauTEAful day.



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