It’s that time of year when the seasons are changing. Except, your mood may change too. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that results from the change of seasons. The wintertime is when it is most prevalent due to gloomy weather and reduced sunlight. Several factors contribute to SAD, such as age, gender, and location. Studies find that women and young adults are more likely to be diagnosed with SAD. Also, those further away from the equator are susceptible to SAD because it’s chilly and dark. Read on to find out more about how to deal with season affective disorder this winter, and how to get help.
Find a Light Source
Since there is less sunlight during fall and winter in some regions, SAD occurs in some people. There is a therapy called phototherapy, which can be beneficial to those in dark, cold areas. There are many different lightboxes available for purchase, and it’s stronger than a regular light bulb. This device was made specifically for people with mood disorders such as depression or SAD. If you’re wondering if this will be safe for your eyes—dedicated light boxes for SAD filter out UVs, making them safe on the retina. Using the lightbox 25 to 90 minutes a day may improve your SAD symptoms. Of course, there’s free, natural light from outside if you can catch the sun. If you are in an area where it isn’t so grim and muggy, this may be a better alternative.
Watch Your Diet—Especially the Carbs
During the winter, people tend to really dive into the pantry, right into carbohydrate-rich foods. This results in weight gain, contributing to low energy. Vitamin D in the body tends to drop during the winter because of less sunlight, so eating nutrient-dense foods and vitamins can help. Foods such as fatty fish and eggs are good sources of vitamin D. Wild mushrooms contain D-2 as well. To contribute to a proper diet this winter, consume fruits and vegetables. Staying hydrated would also be beneficial too.
Don’t fall into the sedentary trap! Continue to stay active this winter, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. If you are lucky enough to work out in the sun, it will do wonders to combat SAD. Exercising also regulates the circadian rhythm, which may be affected by SAD.
Stay in Touch with Friends and Family
SAD can contribute to depression and loneliness. This winter, make sure to keep in touch with your loved ones and attend gatherings whenever you can. It’s easy to stay home, especially during the winter. You will boost your happiness by being surrounded by those you admire and love, as opposed to staying indoors in the cold.
Contact Us Today!
SAD doesn’t have to take over your life. You can push through by getting enough sunlight, which increases vitamin D. Then, make sure to eat right and exercise to give yourself a boost! If you need help on how to deal with SAD and would like to speak with our professionals, contact us today!