SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When a winter storm hits, and the temperatures drop, it can mean you’re spending a lot more time indoors than you’d like.
Jessica Diaz of Springfield said, “I feel sad because I just want to be out walking instead of being stuck at home with all the snow and blizzards we’ve been having.”
It’s a medical fact; the winter season can impact your mental health. Many people experience a temporary depression, especially the elderly.
According to Dr. Ira Helfand of Family Care Medical Center, “As you get older, you get a little bit nervous you’re going to fall when you go out there on the ice and it really limits what you’re willing to do. It makes for a very stressful time for people and that has a psychological effect.”
It’s not just the snow or the cold temperatures that can affect your mental health but also the amount of sunlight, or lack thereof. Dr. Helfand calls it Season Affective Disorder. It’s seasonal depression that kicks in around November, when we start to see less and less sunlight. It can last into spring.
Emily Murray of West Springfield told 22News, “It makes you feel more down because you’re not outside; you’re not getting the sun. Vitamin D makes you feel positive; it makes you feel happier, makes you feel higher.”
Even if it is dark outside, go outside to escape that “trapped” feeling, and try exercising indoors to get your blood flowing and boost your endorphins. If you feel the seasonal slump is turning into a more serious problem, you should talk to your doctor right away.