Combatting Seasonal Depression
Seasonal Depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression brought on by changes in the seasons…and yes, it’s absolutely real. Symptoms usually start in the Fall and continue into the winter months, causing a depletion in energy and making you feel moody or down in the dumps. Some of the most common symptoms of SAD are oversleeping, appetite changes, weight gain, and extreme fatigue.
Another common cause of SAD is reduced opportunities to socialize and spending increased time indoors, which is what a lot of us have been doing for the last two years of the pandemic.
It’s normal to have off-days, but if you are feeling down for days on end and you can’t seem to get motivated to do the activities you normally enjoy, it may be time to take some steps to combat your seasonal depression. These changes will hopefully elevate your mood and motivation to get through the darker days of the year.
Here are some tips for managing your SAD in a healthy and effective way.
Expose yourself to sunlight, in any way possible!
This can be difficult when it comes to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID. Spend a few minutes in your backyard or take a short walk in your neighborhood. Light therapy is another easy option. Get yourself a light therapy lamp and sit in front of it for at least 30 minutes a day. Giving your body its daily dose of Vitamin D is crucial in combatting SAD.
Get into a routine and stick with it!
Changes in our body’s natural clock is a prime cause of SAD. The pandemic has thrown us all for a loop when it comes to consistency and routine. Going to sleep, waking up, eating and exercising on a regular schedule can help reduce SAD symptoms immensely.
Connect with a Professional.
If symptoms of SAD show up suddenly for you and you usually don’t experience them, it’s usually a good idea to talk with your doctor about it. If you are familiar with SAD and have experienced symptoms before, it’s never a bad idea to be proactive and visit a therapist before the symptoms worsen. For some people, SAD can bring on suicidal thoughts or extreme depression. Certain therapies like psychotherapy, phototherapy, playful therapy, and animal-assisted therapy are designed to help those that struggle with these issues and can be a complete game-changer when dealing with SAD.
The struggles of having anxiety and depression can be crippling, especially in the colder and darker months. However, there are always new options to explore. Connecting with a loved-one, joining a support group, or downloading a meditation app can be the very first step in your efforts to kick SAD’s behind and finally live your life to the fullest.
Do you live with Seasonal Affective Disorder? Are you struggling to find ways to fight it? Download our FREE guide to self-care for more clever ways on how to fight the SAD blues!