Gone are the warm days of summer, where the sun held itself in the sky long after dinner. Now, with the harsh cold weather and sometimes dangerous conditions, it’s discouraging to do everything you once did with such ease. When the weather starts to impact your daily life, you may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
It’s estimated that 6% of our country is impacted by SAD, causing people to fall into depression, be irritable, or lack the desire to engage socially. Officially, SAD is recognized as a form of depression that remits in spring and summer. If you exhibit a few of these symptoms but are not diagnosed with SAD, please contact a mental health professional before engaging in any of the below.
Light Therapy is most effective when timed to fit an individual’s circadian rhythm. It’s best to begin this therapy 8 hours after the secretion of melatonin (the hormone that stimulates sleep). This could help lift symptoms in as little as three days.
Antidepressants, such as selective-serotonin repute inhibitors, can relieve SAD symptoms. A study done in Canada revealed that people who took antidepressants fared the same as those with light therapy.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can help change the way you think and feel about things, as researchers are finding a strong connection between SAD symptoms and behavior. This therapy entails recognizing winter activities that bring joy and gradually building up the time spent doing them.
Vitamin D intake declines during the winter due to the lack of sunlight, depriving our bodies of its nutrients. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to a multitude of illnesses, one of them being depression. Purchasing Vitamin D supplements from your local drug store or including Vitamin D-rich foods in your diet, like fish and eggs, may help you feel better.
Spending Time Outdoors is a great way to keep busy, include others, obtain endorphins through exercise, and also receive natural Vitamin D from the sun. Running with a partner allows you to engage socially, stay fit while improving your mood, and get a little bit of that December sunshine peeking out from the clouds. So grab that winter coat and go!