Season Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a real problem for many people around the globe. While winter isn’t at the same time in every country, it has the same traits for many. The darker days and earlier sunset can cause an imbalance for many of us. If you get depressed during the winter months, you’re not alone. SAD is a recognized condition that people from all walks of life struggle through. There are, however, many ways to combat these feelings that are both safe and effective.
Coping Tools for SAD
- Make sure that you get light indoors. Open the blinds, sit near a window, and let the light into your home. You can also try spending about 15 minutes a day in front of artificial sunlight. We can’t always go outside and feel the sun on our faces, yet research shows that artificial light can mimic sunlight and help stabilize our moods. There are mirrors available for SAD that have light you can sit in front of every day before you start your routine.
- Get outdoors when you can, especially for a walk. Walking boosts endorphins (feel-good chemicals) and natural light, even through the clouds, can help boost mood. 15 minutes walking every day can really help. The best time of day to do this is in the early afternoon, between noon and three.
- Get help if you’re overwhelmed. Even when depression is caused by seasonal changes, it can be serious enough to make you miss out on life. A therapist or other mental health professional can help you make a game plan for coping with your emotions. You may also want to see a medical professional for antidepressants.
- Take care of your body and spirit. Eat fresh foods, and be kind yourself. Self-care during episodes of depression may include activities like meditation, yoga, or reading a good book. Take care of yourself when your emotions feel fragile.
You’re Not Alone
Many people experience depressed moods, sadness, and loneliness during the winter months. SAD is real, and there is treatment available. Building a support network, learning new ways to handle depressed feelings, and even medication can help you feel better when you’re experiencing SAD.
If you need more help, ask for it! It can be humbling but there are millions of people who are diagnosed and treated for depression every year. You deserve to feel good about yourself and your life!
Help for Mental Health and Addiction
Do you or somebody you love struggle with SAD, mental health, or substance use? You’re not alone. People with mental health disorders can take back control of their lives. We want to help you live life to your fullest in recovery. Please call us at 949-245-9812 to learn more about our programs.