woman leaning on window looking sad

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The holiday season may be over, but the winter months stretch on. This can sometimes leave you feeling a bit blue.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 5 percent of people in the United States experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – a type of recurring depression that most often occurs in the fall and winter months and can last nearly half the year.

Symptoms of SAD or another form of depression may include: low energy, irritability, oversleeping, weight gain, changes in appetite, the avoidance of social situations, a heavy feeling in your legs or arms, and feeling sad or depressed for the majority of the day, nearly every day.

An additional 10 to 20 percent of the population experiences a milder form of the condition, sometimes called the winter blues.

Here are some tips that may help you beat those winter blues:

  • Exercise 30 minutes or more per day, three or more days a week.
  • Choose healthy foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals to boost your energy level.
  • Get outside (even if cloudy) for some natural light therapy. Decreased sunlight, shorter days and cold temperatures can impact your mood. Spending time outside during the day can give you a little more pep in your step.
  • Participate in activities outside your house, like going to a movie or a local event.
  • Spend time with family members and friends.
  • Focus on staying positive.

If you experience the symptoms of SAD for an extended period of time, schedule a visit with your doctor right away to develop a treatment plan that works best for you. This may include light therapy or the use of antidepressants.

As we begin the new year, we are committed to helping you take care of your physical and emotional health. If you need medical advice and want to stay in the comfort of your home or office, log on to Norman Regional Virtual Care and visit with a provider 24 hours a day, seven days a week for a flat rate of $55.

About Norman Regional Health System Norman Regional Health System is a multi-campus system that serves the healthcare needs of south central Oklahoma. It is currently comprised of an acute-care facility, Norman Regional, on Porter Avenue, and the Norman Regional HealthPlex, located on Interstate 35 and Tecumseh Road in Norman, OK. Norman Regional Hospital is licensed for 324 beds and offers a full range of services including emergency care, oncology, an intensive care unit, surgery and more. The Norman Regional HealthPlex campus is licensed for 136 beds. It features the services of cardiovascular, spine and orthopedics, women’s and children’s and more. The Norman Regional HealthPlex is also the home of the Chest Pain Center and the HealthPlex Heart Hospital. In 2016, the Health System opened Norman Regional Moore, which houses an Emergency Room, physician offices, imaging, lab, physical therapy and more.

Norman Regional Health System also provides outpatient diagnostic centers, medical transport services, physician services, centers of excellence, durable medical equipment supplies, a primary care network, community wellness service and employer health services. It has grown to employ more than 2,700 people and have 356 physicians credentialed on the Medical Staff.