Feeling under the weather?

Shorter days, gloomy weather forecasts and cold temperatures affect more than what we choose to wear each day – it can also play havoc with how we feel. The Winter Blues is a common name for experiencing a low mood in the winter months. The clinical term is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Dr Sammut said Winter Blues shouldn’t be treated as insignificant and people who aren’t feeling themselves should be speaking to their GP about whether they need ongoing care or assistance from a professional.

The fact that winter can spark depression in some people has been recognised for some time with the term Winter Blues used by medical professionals to describe subclinical forms of low mood.

Symptoms you need to look out for include feeling very sleepy, having trouble waking up in the morning, a lack of energy, decreased appetite, trouble concentrating and weight gain or weight loss. Some people will also feel either depressed or have a low mood, which means they might feel sad, helpless, upset or anxious without really knowing why.

Dr Sammut said most people with the Winter Blues feel better as the season changes to spring, but for others the Winter Blues can escalate into a depressive disorder which does need attention from a health professional.

If you’re feeling like the Winter Blues are affecting your health, you should make an appointment with your GP to discuss how you feel.

To help boost your mood you can also:

• Exercise to keep your energy levels up, and to help release your body’s natural ‘feel good’ chemicals that improve your mood.

• Eat nutritious food to maintain energy and motivation. Often comfort foods are highly processed and high in sugar – leaving you feeling lethargic or flat.

• Talk to your doctor about your vitamin levels. You may be lacking in Vitamins D and B which have specific benefits in improving our mood and well being.

• Enjoy the winter sun. The sun is our best source of Vitamin D, which is responsible for energy levels, health and development.

Don’t endure the Winter Blues, make a booking to speak to your GP about how you feel and how to improve your mood by phoning Active Medical on 03 9363 0954 or make an online booking. Active Medical is located at 228 – 232 Caroline Springs Blvd, Caroline Springs.