Summer, sun, sunshine. Sea, beach and airy clothes. Most people love that. Cold and dark? Does not have to be. Some of us even feel quite uncomfortable then. The cold season puts them in a real mood. This is called autumn depression or winter depression. We will explain to you what it is all about and how you can overcome the autumn depression.
What is an autumn depression?
It is also called autumn or winter blues: the autumn depression only occurs in the cold, dark season. Another technical term is Seasonal Depression (SAD). Important: It cannot be compared with the common form of depression. Nevertheless - exhaustion, tiredness or lack of drive are not uncommon.
However, not everything is immediately an autumn depression; for example, when it is difficult to get out of bed or when you do not feel like going about your daily routine. In summer and in bright weather it was so incredibly easy! An autumn depression shows certain signs that you should pay attention to.
Autumn depression or depression?
A normal depression is much stronger compared to seasonal depression. In most cases, you don't need to worry that the autumn blues have caught up with you. If you are still not sure, you should seek advice from your doctor or health care professional.
These can be symptoms of autumn depression
- Loss of drive
- Depressed mood
- Slightly low mood
- Extreme need for sleep
- Increased appetite, especially for carbohydrates and sweets
All these symptoms can, but need not, be a sign of autumn depression or winter blues. It is important that you consciously listen to yourself and your body. Pay attention to how you feel. A good tip: Keep a kind of emotional diary and just write it down.
What triggers an autumn/winter blues (causes)?
An unwanted depression of mood during the cold season is accompanied by the inevitable darkness that autumn and winter bring. It becomes light later and also dark very early. Between morning and evening it is then usually grey, rainy or snowy. This weather can sometimes put you in a melancholic, almost sad mood.
Too little light
You probably know this: When the sun is shining, you sometimes have the feeling of being full of energy and zest for action. Light plays an important role in our lives. Even the Stone Age people looked to the sun for guidance. During the day, they did important things, took care of everything that needed to be done and at night they rested and gathered strength.
Today it is no different. In winter, the state of darkness lasts longer, so your body signals fatigue, it releases more of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for the sleep rhythm. This is associated with listlessness and listlessness. In contrast to serotonin, melatonin controls our waking rhythm and keeps us strong and happy.
This does not mean, of course, that melatonin is bad for your body. On the contrary, it is just right when it comes to ending the day and getting a good night's sleep. So you can imagine: Due to the increased melatonin secretion there is significantly more fatigue. So it is understandable that you feel exhausted and lacking in drive.
Serotonin levels also decrease. This has to do with the fact that your body converts serotonin (happiness hormone) and now uses melatonin. This has to happen so that your body can switch to sleep mode at all. In autumn or winter, however, the body does this conversion more often, which means that you will be in a tired state for longer.
Vital substance deficiency
Less light means less vitamin D. Not only that: many other vitamins and minerals are also less easily processed or absorbed by your body. Because, for example: The mineral iron can be absorbed much better by vitamin C. Your appetite can also change during such an autumn depression. You may experience attacks of ravenous appetite, especially for sweets or carbohydrates. Especially for foods that do not contain enough valuable vital substances. Therefore support your body with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
+++ Read the magazine article "Nutrient deficiency: causes, symptoms and treatment" +++
Do you know that when your body trembles and shakes from the cold and all muscles cramp? This not only takes strength, it also makes you extremely tired. You start to yawn and that every few minutes. The cold weather can also affect your mood.
5 tips to spice up your mood
Gone with the moping and into pleasure. Sometimes this is easier said than done. A few good tips and natural mood-lifters can help you get out of the depressed mood yourself.
1. Staging daylight - try daylight lamps In the evening, candles also create a nice cosy and relaxing atmosphere.
2. Sport and exercise - take relaxed walks or try jogging. This is good for your soul and your body.
3. Make yourself comfortable - treat yourself to a nice foam bath. Here too, candles provide the right atmosphere of well-being.
4. Enjoy the autumn atmosphere - whether you are looking at the colourful leaves on the way or prefer to snuggle up with a delicious cup of tea. Let the autumn take effect on you.
5. Invite a friend or girlfriend or use the time for family - an evening together is good for the soul.
A healthy diet and good food supplements
In order not to fall into the autumn blues in the first place, it can be helpful to pay attention to your diet. Such a low mood can trigger cravings, especially for sweets and carbohydrates. So it is easy to quickly resort to unhealthy ready meals. It is also possible to eat treats that are not only good for your body, but also improve your mood.
Instead of toast, use wholemeal bread. Make yourself a really tasty wholemeal sandwich. Healthy fats can also be integrated. This includes: avocado or salmon. And don't skimp on the vegetables: a few slices of tomato, cucumber or lettuce leaves go great with it and are also totally healthy.
+++ Read the magazine article "Healthy food in the wintertime" +++
Of course you don't have to do without everything completely. After all, a piece of chocolate is known to lift the spirits. Chocolate has a high proportion of the amino acid L-tryptophane, which is converted to serotonin, also known as the happiness hormone.
In addition to healthy foods and chocolate happiness makers, you can also support your body with food supplements. Your body can always use valuable vitamins and minerals for more vitality in everyday life. With the vitamin B complex you strengthen your mental function and also support your energy metabolism. Vitamin C stabilises your normal immune system and helps with fatigue. The mineral magnesium drives your energy metabolism, is responsible for your healthy psyche and the proper functioning of your nervous system. Vitamin D is also suitable for a good immune system in the cold seasons, and it also contributes to your normal muscle function. Last but not least: the happiness hormone, serotonin itself, naturally helps against autumn depressions. If food is not enough, you can supplement your diet with the amino acid L-tryptophan. In the long run you will feel that you feel mentally stronger and fitter again.
So the start of winter can even be beautiful. Find a way to make it pleasant for yourself. Whether you go out into nature and breathe in the fresh autumn air or prefer to lie snuggled up on the sofa at home by candlelight and read a book. The year does not pass by, but a new one is already preparing for you!
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Picture: istockphoto.com / Inside Creative House