The seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal depression, is a depression form that occurs each year. SAD can affect your mood, appetite, sleep, and energy levels, taking your interest in all your life aspects, from your relationships and social life to work, school, and your self-worth. As a result, you may feel like a completely different person from who you are in the summer. Common feelings include sadness, hopelessness, tension, or stress, with no interest in activities or friends you normally love.
It usually begins in fall or winter when there are shorter days and remains until early summer or spring, while a less common form of the disorder causes depression during the summer months. SAD affects about 2% of the population, particularly young people and women, while a lighter form of winter blues may affect many people. Where you live plays a major role in this as the amount of winter daylight changes the farther you live from the equator. However, no matter where you live, the good thing is that, like other forms, SAD is treatable.
Try An Exercise Program
Most people spend less time outside and, as a result, limit their physical activity in the winter but if you think you may have SAD, pushing yourself to exercise is an excellent way to combat it. Moving your body will compete with that tendency to be inactive and can produce good brain chemistry. Look for indoor activities like yoga or treadmill, or try winter activities like snowshoeing or skiing to make the most of the cold weather.
Light therapy is one of the first-line treatments for fall-onset SAD. Exposure to bright light within the early hour of waking up each day. In light therapy, people sit in front of a special lightbox to get the bright light. Light therapy imitates natural outdoor light and appears to change brain chemicals linked to mood. It appears to be effective and works for most people in relieving SAD symptoms. Talk to your doctor before you purchase a lightbox to get the best one for you, and familiarize yourself with various features and options so that you buy a high-quality product that’s effective and safe.
Eat The Right Diet
Eating small, well-balanced meals with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the day will keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. Complex carbohydrates are a better choice like oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain bread, and bananas. These foods can boost your feel-good serotonin levels without the subsequent sugar crash. Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats like walnuts, oily fish, soybeans, and flaxseeds improve your mood and may even boost the effectiveness of the antidepressant medication.
Some people with severe symptoms of SAD get antidepressant treatment. If the therapies mentioned above and solutions do not sufficiently treat you, prescription antidepressants help you deal with and eventually overcome seasonal depression. Also, avoid meds that make you sleepy a lot; for example, some people think it’s only necessary to take antidepressants during the cold season when they’re feeling the blues, but the professionals say they must do so every winter.
Psychotherapy or talk therapy is another method to treat SAD. This therapy can help you learn healthy ways to deal with SAD, especially with scheduling activities and reducing avoidance behavior. You will also learn to recognize and replace negative thoughts and behaviors that may be making you feel worse.
Lifestyle And Home Remedies
Open window blinds and add natural light to your home. Sit closer to windows at home or in the office. Or sit outside and soak up the sun. Exercise and other physical activities help relieve stress and anxiety, which can increase SAD symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.
Teach yourselves and take responsibility for discussing SAD with your doctor or mental health professional. Also, don’t treat seasonal depression symptoms as a given burden of normal life in the north intensified by the change in our habits and behaviors caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.