Each year, the lack of light affects us all to different degrees, but the context of Covid-19 amplifies the discomfort we can experience at this time of year. But it is possible to react. Here are our tips.
Of course, these symptoms are also associated with several other ailments and illnesses, it is always important to have a he alth check-up to make sure that it is indeed seasonal depression that affects you.
- Unusual fatigue, increased need to sleep
- Lack of interest in what excites you
- Irritability, lack of enthusiasm
- Low sexual desire
- Sugar cravings
It's true that it's not easy to move when you're tired, but exercising, especially outside when the sun is out, will help you to evacuate this drop in energy, while allowing you to store the daylight that you lack. So, at lunchtime, go for a walk, if only 15 to 30 minutes. If you have breaks, take advantage of them.go outside, even in gray weather. It's not directly sun that you miss, but just light!
Especially if you have cravings for sweet and fatty foods, try adding servings of vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables to your snacks and meals. Eating fat or sugar weighs down your digestive system and contributes to your state of fatigue. When your cravings want to take over, go out for some fresh air and if you're still hungry when you return, focus on he althy foods. A fruit is sweet, you know!
More and more studies associate taking omega-3s with the treatment of depression in general. Several foods naturally contain it, such as fish (salmon, tuna, sardines), flax and hemp oils and flax seeds. Also, omega-3s are now added in several foods like eggs, bread, milk, etc. So add omega-3s to your diet, your overall he alth will benefit.
As seasonal depression is caused by a lack of light, more and more people are turning to light therapy, which consists of exposing themselves to the light of a lamp specially designed to diffuse a large amount of lux, which is equivalent to daylight in summer. These lamps are available in pharmacies and some big box stores and sell for between $50 and $300. A few minutes of exposure per day – duringwhether we are watching television, being at the computer or reading - are enough to provide the body with the light it needs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if this technique could help you.
Also read our article Light at the end of winter.
It is important to differentiate between seasonal depression and chronic depression for which medication and treatment may be needed. Please consult your doctor to ensure you have the correct diagnosis.
You can learn more about depression on these reputable sites.
- Canadian Medical Association
- Quebec He alth and Social Services