Winter is upon us. And although this period is well filled with holidays, many Dutch people feel listless, gloomy and tired in winter. When the sun starts to shine again in the spring, these complaints disappear like snow in the sun.
Does this sound familiar to you? Then you probably have a winter depression.
Three out of four people with winter depression are women. Usually a winter depression is not a real depression but a mild form of it, also known as ‘winter dip’ or ‘winter blues’. If you suffer severe winter depression every year, you can follow special light therapy to reduce the complaints. In addition, there are also a few handy home, garden and kitchen tips that ensure that your complaints are less.
Although there is no scientific evidence yet, it has long been suspected that winter depression is caused by fluctuations in melatonin levels. This hormone ensures that you fall asleep. When the days are shorter, some people produce more melatonin, making them sleepy quickly. You can try to counteract your winter depression a little by helping your natural day and night rhythm.
Get up early every day (before eight o’clock), even if you went to bed (too) late the night before. In this way your biological clock receives a signal to keep an eye on the time and to wake up your body. It is also advisable to have a good breakfast every day. This brings the body into day mode. Digestion starts working, the body gets going and sleep disappears.
Many Dutch people, without knowing it, have a vitamin D deficiency. Your body produces this hormone in the summer by means of sunlight. In the winter months this is a lot more difficult and if you have not built up enough stock in the summer months, this can lead to a shortage.
One of the symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency is depression and fatigue. Recognizable? Then have your values checked with the doctor. You can also supplement vitamin D with supplements.
Focus on the positive
Accept that winter is inherent in cold, dark days and tranquility. The more you surrender to nature, the more you will relax. Winter also has plenty to offer. Perhaps you will be very happy with a nice walk in the woods, or you can enjoy chocolate milk with whipped cream? Or how about a day in (winter) Feeling?
Watch Love Actually for the fiftieth time or go ice skating on the canals of Amsterdam. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you can look forward to something. Book a few nights away, plan a fun outing, cook a nice meal or make a promise to yourself in a few days. And you will see that winter will be over in no time.
Practically cooperate with the winter
Can you really not get used to that dark world? Then try to surrender yourself to the rhythm of winter as much as possible. For example, by going to bed a little earlier and getting up a little later.
In addition, it is wise to eat a lot of hot meals. By eating these typical winter dishes, you support your body well, so that you can better handle the low temperatures outside.
Sport is good for many things, but it is also a panacea when you suffer from winter depression. By exercising outside during the day, you also get a lot of extra light. You also produce endorphins, a hormone that is not called the happiness hormone for nothing.
Before you know, you can complain about those four far too hot days in the Netherlands in the summer. And otherwise you would like to book a ticket to the Canary Islands?