We all have heard of winter blues, but exactly what is winter blues? The condition is a part of Seasonal affective disorder. It belongs to the category of depression, a mood disorder. However, it is not just an ordinary sorrow or grief. Someone with the disorder experiences prolonged sadness, whose causality might be unknown to you. They get triggered during the long dark months of the winter season. While a deeper explanation is yet to be found, there is empirical evidence to prove that the coldness and the darkness that triggers winter blues.

What are winter blues?

During winter, you can experience the following symptoms if you have SAD:

  • Profound hopelessness and helplessness.
  • Unexplained sorrow that lasts for days or weeks and is accompanied by guilt.
  • Inability to carry out basic tasks like brushing and bathing.
  • Reduced engagement and loss of interest in activities, which intrigued you otherwise.
  • Sleepiness or insomnia.
  • Overeating or loss of appetite.

Hopefully, now you can understand the fundamental question of “what is winter blues?” more clearly. It is important to reiterate that these symptoms can occur independently of the disorder. Winter can bring lethargy when the muscles fail to get enough warmth. If you feel that you are affected by SAD, getting a proper diagnosis by a certified professional is advised.

Best tips to beat the winter blues

The best treatment for seasonal affective disorder involves therapy and medicine. Having a stable support system in the form of family and friends is also vital. However, you can incorporate several habits in your life to deal with the symptoms of the disorder and make therapy more effective.

For instance, you can practice journaling or try to express yourself through writing or painting/ sketching. Here are a some more tips to beat the winter blues in details:

a) Maintain an active lifestyle

Having an active lifestyle means you must try to do as much physical activity as possible. Doing stimulating activities like cooking can help you in dealing with winter blues, in addition to alleviating distress.

This also counts as self care and can provide a sense of achievement to you. Similarly, cleaning the dishes, making the bed, dusting the house, or rearranging your closet can help you experience little wins in life. Ensuring that you take regular warm baths can also help you experience happy hormones. Remember, all the small things count when you do not even have the motivation to get out of bed.

b) Get natural sunlight

As the duration for which the sunlight becomes short and the dark times of the day become longer, the Seasonal Affective Disorder gets triggered. Hence, getting ample sunlight can help you control your symptoms to a significant degree.

Going out in the sun to take a walk or just sitting on the lawn while having a cup of hot beverage can be therapeutic for someone dealing with winter blues. In fact, light therapy, which involves better exposure to light to do away with the sadness caused by the darkness of winter, has been found effective in dealing with SAD. Hence more exposure to natural sunlight will undoubtedly be the best treatment for seasonal affective disorder.

c) Maintain a proper sleep routine

We have a biological clock that gets conditioned over the years. As the day begins, the cycle signals us to wake up, and with the nightfall, the cycle starts to release a chemical that makes us sleepy. If you follow the cycle, you will naturally spend more hours awake during the sunlight.

Following the rhythm will also aid in diminishing exhaustion and irritability. Studies show that even if you try to sleep extra hours in the day, you will not be able to make up for the lost sleep. Here, we shall emphasize that sleeping too much can be harmful. Balance is required in effectively dealing with winter blues.

d) Minimize stress

Stress can aggravate the onset of SAD. Several pathogens like piled up work, deadlines, financial problems, house shifting, etc., can put us in distress. This can affect the effectiveness of seasonal affective disorder treatments you take. Hence, it is critical to devise constructive coping strategies.

Engaging in creative activities or listening to music can help deal with tension. Taking steps to control expenditure will help to deal with finances. You can consult someone to help you here. Spending time in recreational activities like visiting an amusement park or the beach, or going out for dinner can help you get a refreshing air.

e) Exercise regularly

Exercising is an efficacious winter depression treatment that does not require any expert supervision. Just the way SAD affects your physical body, taking care of the physical body can alleviate the symptoms. Exercising on a fixed schedule can help you establish consistency in life.

Additionally, cardiac exercises can release stress relieving hormones in the body. Exercising also helps in better blood regulation and helps maintain homeostasis in the body. Both of them can reduce the symptoms of SAD. Swimming, cycling, jogging are some examples. You can slowly increase the intensity and time to establish comfort.


You can deal with SAD by some self-care measures and therapy. However, winter depression treatment takes time. There are various forms of therapy you can try, such as psychoanalysis or Cognitive behavioral therapy.

Their effects depend upon the therapist, and it is usually a trial and error process. The type of environment you get, in addition to the culture you belong to, will also influence your progress. However, when these seasonal affective disorder treatments do not work, using homeopathic medicines by Bakson can be conducive.