Unlocking a Healthy Winter: A Guide to the Challenges of the Cold Season
Winter is a common time when doctors tend to prescribe more anxiety medication for adults. That is because the changing seasons and other factors can greatly affect people’s moods, and this often leads to changes in their mental condition. Fortunately, there are things you can do to manage the unwanted changes that may occur.
Common Challenges for Winter Season
The winter months have numerous factors associated with the various challenges that people face. One is the change from sunny, warm weather to cold, cloudy conditions and shorter days. In fact, many places in the country experience very little sun exposure during the winter, and this causes some people to have seasonal affective disorder, which often results in anxiety and depression symptoms.
The holidays are also a factor. Planning, shopping, decorating, cooking, baking, and dealing with family members can lead to quite a bit of anxiety and burnout for some. The amount of money spent also plays a role. And then there are those who have no one to spend the holiday with, which often leads to sadness and depression.
For those who enjoy the holiday season, post-holiday blues are common. The festivities are over, there is nothing on the horizon to look forward to.
Seasonal Changes Affect ADHD Symptoms
Although anyone can experience seasonal affective disorder, people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more prone to have it. In fact, three times as many people with ADHD have SAD than people without this condition.
When you examine ADHD symptoms in adult women, you can see how they are particularly susceptible to SAD or other mental health conditions. Although attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the same condition in men and women, it often manifests differently. Men tend to exhibit more impulsive and hyperactivity symptoms, while women tend to have more inattentive symptoms.
ADHD symptoms commonly seen in women include:
- Shyness and appearing withdrawn
- Excessive crying and extreme emotional reactions
The change in seasons often intensifies these symptoms, which makes ADHD more difficult to treat.
How to Manage Mental Conditions During the Winter
Self-care is always important, but it is essential during the cold season. There tends to be less socialization, and isolation can occur as a result. Try to schedule regular get-togethers with friends or schedule a phone call or video chat.
Keep a journal handy to write your thoughts and emotions in. Put out facial masks, bath salts, lotions, and other spa-like products and take a long bath or give yourself a facial when you need a pick me up.
Although it is harder during winter months, continue to exercise when you can, as it does wonders for mental health. Go to the gym, join a yoga class, or do an online fitness class at home.
If you find that exercise, self-care, and lifestyle changes do not help your symptoms, it is ok to reach for medication. As an alternative to prescription drugs, try a homeopathic remedy that is available over the counter and has no associated side effects.