‘Tis The Season for SAD
Battling the seasonal depression blues
The colder weather brings a plethora of unpleasantries with it: dry skin, chapped lips, a goodbye to cute sundresses, and that old familiar friend, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Seasonal Affective Disorder might be the reason you’re taking the colder months harder than usual. It’s completely normal to feel a little down when the sunshine starts to disappear earlier and earlier, but if you routinely find yourself on the couch rewatching Gilmore Girls for the umpteenth time, then you might be suffering from the appropriately named SAD.
Symptoms can include:
Feelings of sadness or a serious mood shift when the seasons change
Lack of energy
Cravings for carbs
Feeling irritated, hopeless or worthless
Loss of interest in pleasurable activities, including loss of sexual interest
Difficulty with sleep, either by sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia
Though it might seem like a dark hole you can’t climb out of, there are a number of ways you can battle SAD to help you feel like your sunnier self again.
1. Find an Exercise Program to Enroll in
Most people enjoy working out in the warmer months when they can get outside in the sun to get their sweat on. When Fall comes around, the motivation to move can dwindle. Moving your body can improve your brain chemistry and combat that craving to be a couch potato. (Psst, my November Challenge might be the perfect fit for your fitness this month. Check it out here).
2. Get Social
As much as you might feel like Gilmore Girls is calling your name every night from the couch, committing to social engagements is so much better for your mental health. Get a couple of girls' nights on your calendar, schedule a walk or run with a friend, even getting out of the house to grocery shop can lift your mood. Connecting with those around you is a great way to get out of your head and into better spirits.
3. Try Light Therapy
Experts believe SAD is related to the lack of light exposure in the darker months, which is why it’s so prevalent in the cloudier climates of the world. Those same experts suggest experimenting with light therapy to combat it. Sitting in front of a SAD lamp for 30 minutes every morning could be the best way to start off your day, leaving you feeling happier, more alert, and energized.
4. Eating Healthy
As you probably already know, food affects your mood. Maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet can do wonders to your mental wellbeing. As much as your body might be craving carbs, fuel it with sufficient vitamins and nutrients instead and you’ll thank yourself after. Drink lots of water and ensure you’re getting those greens in every meal.
So here’s your reminder to get outside, breathe in the fresh air, see your friends, and soak in as much vitamin D as you can!
Though these tips can be helpful in treating SAD or even the winter blues, this disorder can lead to more serious ones so be sure to seek professional advice if you see fit.