Deciding to quit smoking is an easy decision for many people. However, deciding to quit for the New Year may have an effect on your quit because of the winter season. Winter depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), may disrupt your quit plans, but you have the power to get back on track! Check in with yourself if you’re feeling the winter blues this Monday and make a few adjustments to your plan to stay quit.
According to medical professionals, the depression symptoms associated with SAD comes from a lack of daylight. This may cause a drop in serotonin levels, which can lead to mood changes. If that wasn’t enough, quitting smoking also causes depression symptoms in some people. Combined with the winter blues, that could feel like an emotional (and physical) double whammy for someone trying to quit smoking. But these symptoms can be managed and you can stay on course to stay quit.
It’s important to be aware of changes in your mood while you quit smoking so you can deal with them as they arise. Feeling depressed has a tendency to drag you down physically and make you feel tired, which is another common occurrence in the winter. Keep in mind that what you’re feeling is normal and likely part of nicotine withdrawal. Here are a few solutions to try this Monday that can lift you up:
Keep moving. Physical activity is not only necessary for a healthy lifestyle, it’s a great way to ward off the blues. It’s also a great distraction during a craving! You don’t have to engage in a high-impact aerobic exercise to lift your mood, but even a brisk walk or a few minutes of yoga can help you feel better.
Get social. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who can not only take your mind off your mood but can also give you the support you need. Even a one-on-one conversation with your quit buddy can get you out of a rut.
Talk to a professional. If your depression symptoms are becoming a major problem, reach out to a professional. Call your doctor if you feel the need or speak with a counselor who specializes in helping people quit smoking.
You’re not alone in feeling the blues after quitting smoking, and it only takes a few steps in a more positive direction to get back on track. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling the healthy effects of all your hard work. This Monday, beat the winter blues and stay quit!