Escaping the winter blues

Escaping the winter blues

In winter, as temperatures begin to fall, many people also feel their mood sinking. The combination of darkness, cold, and never-ending grey oppresses the spirit. Here you can find out all about winter depression and how to avoid falling into a pit of depression.
Are you feeling tired even though you had a good night’s sleep? Do you lack energy and drive even though you are well rested? Perhaps the current coronavirus situation is doing nothing to improve your mood, even though you don't really feel like socialising anyway?

All of these can be symptoms of the winter blues, caused by a lack of natural daylight, reduced light intensity, falling temperatures and shorter days in winter. The medical explanation is that because of the lack of daylight the body produces less serotonin (the “happiness” hormone) and more melatonin (the “sleep” hormone). This change in the metabolism can knock the body out of kilter.

Countering the winter blues

You can re-establish a healthy balance by spending more time out of doors, even in bad weather. Even the cloudiest day has more light than a brightly lit interior. Exercise will also give your metabolism a boost, and social contact will help you forget the winter blues. Although it's difficult in these coronavirus times to arrange physical meetings with friends and family, we don't have to go without them completely. Why not try a virtual meeting? "Arrange to meet for a Zoom-based coffee or speak to your loved ones regularly by phone", recommends Dr Silke Schmitt Oggier, Medical Director at santé24. This should help to lift your mood."

Treating winter depression

If winter blues symptoms are unusually strong and persistent, they are often referred to as winter depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you have these symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
Arrange to meet for a Zoom-based coffee or speak to your loved ones regularly by phone. Dr Silke Schmitt Oggier, Medical Director at santé24

One standard component in the treatment of winter depression (regardless of its severity) is light therapy, in which the person affected sits for about half an hour per day in front of a special therapy lamp (many times stronger than a normal lamp). This provides them with the light they need. Light therapy is usually used in combination with psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy (treatment with medication).

Psychological counselling

Worried and anxious? SWICA offers its customers free psychological counselling from doctors and psychologists at the santé24 telemedicine service. Call santé24 on +41 44 404 86 86 86 to arrange an appointment.


25.11.2020
In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.