The technical term for the winter blues is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is due to getting less sunlight, which can make your daily body rhythms go out of sync. If you are dealing with SAD, below are some tips to help you feel sunny again.
When you feel depressed, your brain produces less dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters. These are known as the "feel good hormones." When you have a massage by a licensed massage therapist, it can lower your cortisol levels. This is important, because cortisol is your body's response to stress. Studies have shown that serotonin was increased in 28% of people, and 31% of people had an increase of dopamine after massage therapy.
Tell your massage therapist that you are feeling depressed, and they will know the types of massages that will benefit you the most. You do need to see your doctor before you get a massage to make sure that it is safe for you.
Light Therapy Box
A light therapy box can mimic the sun. The light is significantly brighter than standard light bulbs, and it gives off light in different wavelengths. In order for light therapy to be effective, you have to sit in front of it long enough. In many cases, you will start out at only a few minutes, and then gradually increase the amount of time. This does depend on the intensity of the light box you purchase. The intensity of the light is recorded in lux, which is a how much light you receive at certain distances from the light box. When purchasing a light box, make sure it is made for depression so the light will be the right intensity.
Your doctor will tell you the right intensity of light, as well as how long you should sit in front of it and the best time to use it, which is generally early morning.
You can find light therapy boxes at drugstores, or your doctor can help you find one.
A dawn simulator is an alarm clock that wakes you up gradually by producing light. The light continues to increase much like when the sun is coming up. When purchasing a dawn simulator, make sure it uses full-spectrum light, as this type of light is more like natural sunlight.
You can adjust the dawn simulator to start waking you up at a certain time, such as 30 minutes before you need to get out of bed. Waking up in this way is much better than hearing a loud alarm clock go off in the morning, abruptly waking you up out of a deep sleep.
If you continue feeling depressed, you should see your doctor, who can prescribe medication to help you.