Tips for Battling the Winter Blues

Tis the season….. for seasonal depression?! Seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD) is estimated to affect 10 million Americans.  In fact, another 10-20% may experience mild SAD, most commonly during the winter months. 1 Some common symptoms of SAD include depression, fatigue, lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, increased sleep, craving for sweets, weight gain, irritability, anxiety, and avoidance of social contact. 2

WIth an especially difficult winter for most of the country, it’s easy to feel less than great. Some expert recommendations for managing season depression include:

  • Get quality sleep – try to maintain a regular sleep schedule, waking up at the same time every day including weekends.
  • Expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible. You can also talk to your doctor about light boxes which are developed specifically for SAD
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Stay active – exercise can help relieve stress and anxiety which worsen SAD symptoms (If exercise is a migraine trigger for you, don’t miss these helpful tips)
  • Manage stress – Actively utilize stress management techniques – carve out some relaxing downtime and make an effort to spend time with friends/family3

Unfortunately for people with migraine, difficult winter weather can also act as a migraine trigger, making this time of year especially challenging.  We decided to ask our Facebook community how they cope with the winter blues. Here are some of the top suggestions:


Migraine and mental health conditions are often comorbid, which means that they occur together although one does not cause the other. People with migraine are at increased risk for depression and even suicide, making mental health management even more important.  If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, please seek help from a health professional.

Tell us – How do YOU combat the winter blues? Please share in the comments! 

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