Many of us will be turning back the clock. (I am referring to daylight savings time, not a new wrinkle cream.) With more hours of darkness and the onset of cold weather, many people experience a general feeling of sadness around this time of year. (The holiday season is peak.) Some people suffer from a mild form of depression and medication may be needed to help with going about with one’s routine, however there are studies which point to a simple strategy to reduce feeling blue.
The treatment? Move your body. One study found that being active 30 minutes a day was as effective as antidepressants. Try a 15 minute walk. (Walking briskly is recommended.) This simple strategy has the potential to improve your mood and increase your energy level. (For those of you who think staying at your desk and working is the best use of your lunchtime – give this a try.) Exercise may be a first step in battling a low mood, but if the mood persists, seek professional help.
Marlayne Whitlock, MA