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Shoo winter blues away with these doctors’ tips

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WISH) –  For many people, winter seems to drag on. And for some, it can bring on those all-too-familiar feelings of ‘winter blues.’

Doctors say there are symptoms to watch for that could signify Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, that may not let up until April or May.

Symptoms include not being able to concentrate at work, fatigue, a tendency to overeat, or not eating enough and a lack of energy.Women are four times more likely to get SAD.

Doctors with IU-Health say the best thing you can do is get some light; sit by a window at work or get outside for just a minute.

Also, exercise. If you can’t, go outside – go to the mall and walk there.

Make sure you eat healthy, focusing on fruits and veggies. Experts also recommend steering clear of sweets and sugars that can cause an energy crash.

A regular sleep schedule is helpful as well.

Doctors mention that if your symptoms are mild, you could try over-the-counter herbal products.

“Melatonin is our sleep hormone. So people who have seasonal affective disorder, melatonin levels can get a little bit out of whack, so some people can use over-the-counter herbal melatonin, and that can help sometimes as well,” said Dr. Scott Renshaw, Indiana University Health Department of Family Medicine.

And be social – cold weather has a tendency to keep people indoors and away from each other.

If you do choose to go to a doctor, they can prescribe medication, or what’s called ‘light therapy,’ where you get a “light box” that actually gives off artificial sunlight.

For more tips from IU Health, click here.

For tips from Mayo Clinic, click here.

For information from St. Vincent, click here.