The first working day after the holidays can be a depressing time for people coping with a post-holiday letdown and a type of depression triggered by short days called SAD, revealed a new study.
"In New Year, first Monday would be especially blue owing to the added stress of the bone-chilling weather," said psychiatrist Angelos Halaris of Loyola University Medical Centre in Chicago, US.
"For people affected by SAD, energy and mood take a nosedive during the short days of winter. SAD is characterised by depression, exhaustion and lack of interest in people and regular activities and interferes with a person's outlook on life and ability to
function properly," added Halaris.
Environmental stresses, such as extreme cold weather, can help trigger depression in people who already are vulnerable due to SAD, post-holiday blues or other factors, said the study.
Bright light affects brain chemistry in a helpful way and acts as an antidepressant. If you can stand the cold, get outside during the day, even if it is overcast. At home, open the drapes and blinds to let in natural light, the study added.
SAD can be effectively treated with light therapy, antidepressant medication and/or psychotherapy, Halaris said.
So next time when you are back from vacations, soak in enough daylight to overcome post-holiday depression.