Seasonal affective disorder, or conveniently abbreviated as SAD is a type of depression that usually starts and ends at the same time each year. Many begin to experience their symptoms at the beginning of fall, typically lasting into late spring. Changes in weather and sunlight are thought to be major factors when you couple that with the holiday season, it’s no wonder. While you may not be able to change environment, there are a few things you can do to stay on top of your game this winter.
Get good sleep… Seriously.
We know, so obvious.. But seriously IF your only going to attempt one thing on this list, this is the one. Not only do we mean sleeping an adequate amount of time each night but waking up on a routine schedule as well.
2. Spend time outdoors.
Not only is the sun outdoors but fresh air too! Although it may be freezing where you live, allocate time each week to spend outdoors. If you live in a colder region, invest in quality outdoor gear so you can enjoy your time longer.
You don’t even need to go outdoors (but you should). Regular cardio is crucial to circulation and blood flow. If you don’t have access to a gym check out some at home work outs here. When at work or shopping, try taking the longer routes or using the stairs. Stretching at your desk can be easy and improves mobility.
Also known as light therapy, which is exposing yourself to artificial daylight via a lamp emitting a specific temperature of light. It is meant to mimic sunlight and appears to alter chemicals in the brain linked to mood. It takes a few days to weeks to begin to notice any changes, but many suffering from SAD report benefits. This is a low cost therapy that can be done at home.
Its cold and dark out, you just got off work and are very tired, you haven’t been following rule number one of this blog and you stay up late and sleep in. What do you want? PIZZA!.. It can be easy to fall into the same routine of eating out or eating poorly, especially with time being a factor. Altering your diet even a little during SAD season may seem subtle but your body will thank you.
6. Be a positive optimist
Get out of here with yo negative “it’s so dark, It’s so cold” banter. Embrace the cold and dark, it’s not forever but it will be back! Don’t live your life in a state of negativity because these aren’t your preferred climates. If you refuse to or can’t afford to follow the endless summer, then kill the cold with kindness (to others).
Some people experience depression around the clock, so for them SAD just exacerbates their issues. In cases like that these tips may not be enough. Anti-depressants can often backfire and make issues worse. TMS therapy or Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation is a non invasive therapy that treat major depression without medications. If you live in a Cold dark place like Alaska, and suffer from Major depressive disorder then TMS therapy may be right for you learn more here.