Battling Seasonal Depression? Exercise, Nutrition and Sleep are Essential

Cold temperatures and gray skies. The ‘winter blues’ have hit many of us hard lately.

“When we talk about seasonal affective disorder and seasonal depression, it’s so real,” said Mental Health Therapist Cedric Dale Hoard.

“For those of us who live in the Midwest, live in Wisconsin, we know winter seasons can be incredibly tough. It’s dark when you wake up, it’s dark when you get home, it’s just darkness everywhere.”

The darkness and lack of Vitamin D from the sun can have major effects on our mental health. So, what can we do to improve our overall well-being?

“Exercise, nutrition, sleep,” says Hoard. “When we can have a good balanced appetite with those three things, those can absolutely promote our mental health and mental well-being.”

Hoard says even just 30 minutes of walking a day can make a difference, anything to get your body moving. Then, add in a well-balanced diet. And, most importantly, getting sleep.

“Sleep is really like fuel for our gas tanks. It operates the same way. When we are sleeping, when we get our eight hours or close to it, our body is able to fight off diseases, so we don’t get sick when it gets cold.”

Cedric Dale Hoard was a panelist recently at a Rooted MKE Family Gathering Series event “Mental Wellness During the Holiday Blues.” The event was sponsored in-part by Wellpoint Care Network. You can watch more here.

If you need additional resources or tips for managing your mental health this time of year, click here.