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Shorter, dark days: measures against the winter blues
Short days, gray skies, low temperatures: the cold months lead to chronic fatigue and listlessness in some people. The desire not to leave the bed or the couch is often great. But there are also ways to cope better with the "winter blues".
Gray days are depressing
They have long been back, the short days that ensure that it is still dark on the way to work in the morning and on the way home again. That leaves the least without a trace. The gray, cold days lead to chronic fatigue and listlessness in many people, and in the worst case even to winter depression. But there are ways to cope better with the so-called "winter blues". Exercise and sensible nutrition can help.
Every fourth German citizen is affected
"It is getting cooler, it is getting darker - many people experience this as a hindrance," said Iris Hauth in a message from the dpa news agency. According to the president of the German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Neurology (DGPPN), every fourth German citizen suffers from impairments in winter.
Various studies also showed: "Two to five percent of the population, including more women than men, regularly get a seasonal depression in autumn." Some need medical help.
It is worst in January and February
But the worst is yet to come. Seasonal upsets usually increase in January and February when the cold is long. It often subsided by itself in March.
People with a normal depression often suffer from anorexia, but winter depressants, on the other hand, have cravings for sweets, carbohydrates and a higher need for sleep. "This is attributed to the lack of light," says Hauth. According to the expert, this leads to a higher release of the sleep hormone melatonin, which controls the day-night rhythm.
Presumably the neurotransmitter serotonin is also involved in the winter depression. The body converts serotonin for the production of melatonin, the serotonin level drops. This has an impact on the mood and creates a great desire for sweets and carbohydrates.
Fresh air and daylight
It always makes sense to get out into the fresh air and into the light of day. This also stimulates the circulation, activates body cells and can thus strengthen the immune system. One hour of exercise a day is enough. Sport is also advisable. If necessary, light therapy with special lamps from 2,500 to 10,000 lux also helps. According to a study, this also works for non-seasonal depression. Scandinavians and Icelanders have had good experiences with this in the long darkness in their homeland.
Adequate hydration and healthy eating
Further tips against the winter blues: Make sure you take in sufficient fluids. Because in addition to sport and light, water also helps to reduce symptoms such as tiredness and lack of drive.
Food also plays an important role in how fit or tired people feel. Domestic vegetables such as cabbage and the like can help you stay fit in winter. Generally speaking, the menu should not contain too much fat. Swap showers are also recommended to boost the circulation. (ad)