As we continue to get deeper into the winter months, you may notice that seasonal depression is impacting your family and marriage. The decreased amount of light, warmth and outdoor colors can lead to seasonal affective disorders, which affects up to twenty percent of the population. These disorders may be only present for a portion of the year, but they can still have negative influences on your family. Consider doing these things to help decrease your seasonal mood swings and help to keep your family’s emotions stable throughout the colder months.
Fight Off Seasonal Depression As A Family
One of the main causes of seasonal depression is the decreased amount of daytime during the winter. To combat this, try to be exposed to natural sunlight as much as possible. When able, position yourself by windows. Also, attempt to take walks whenever the weather permits. Walks will help you be exposed to natural sunlight and will also help you stay active, which is another way to fight off seasonal depression. Try to aim for at least thirty minutes of activity a day, and get the entire family involved.
Also, maintain a set sleep schedule. Circadian rhythms can be disturbed as the seasons change since your body’s internal clock is based off of the amount of daylight. The short days and long night can make you feel groggy, moody and disconnected with your family. Keeping busy and having a set schedule can help combat unwanted circadian rhythm changes. In more extreme cases, a medical professional may prescribe a mood regulator to help even out the internal clock imbalances.
Seasonal depression symptoms can vary. Some common symptoms are low self-esteem, appetite and weight changes, lack of concentration, extreme fatigue, changes in sleep patterns. Suffers typically describe their feelings as sad, hopeless, anxious, irritable and stressed. If you feel like you, or your spouse, are suffering from the winter blues, contact your doctor.
People with seasonal depression tend to want to isolate themselves from their families. However, close family relationships are critical in helping to manage the symptoms. If you believe that your spouse is suffering from a seasonal mood disorder, remind yourself that it is an illness and it should be treated professionally. Being understanding and supportive will lead to the best outcome with treatment and your marriage. Check out our website, and other blog postings, for more tips on how to cope with marital issues and divorce.