Health Matters

Chasing Away The Winter Blues

Guest: Professor Bill Elder

COVID and Seasonal Affective Disorder. Could this year be different? Professor Bill Elder, chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Houston College of Medicine has some tips to deal with the symptoms.

“Five percent of Americans experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression. It comes in the winter as days shorten and women are more vulnerable. It’s more frequent in northern states than here in Houston. However, staying inside, social isolation and the stress of COVID-19 could make for a bad combination.”

“Symptoms include feeling lethargic or down, having difficulty with everyday activities, oversleeping, overeating or being uninterested in things you previously enjoyed.”

Here are some tips to help you deal with the disorder:

  • Get outside safely during the day. Your exposure to sunlight makes a difference.
  • Regular exercise during the active part of your day may help.
  • If you are feeling sad most of the time or hopeless, contact your healthcare provider right away.”

“This is a time for compassion and selfcare.”

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