Five Ways To Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. Most people with SAD experience symptoms starting in the fall and continuing into the winter.

Common SAD depression symptoms can include low energy levels and irritated moods much more severe than what people consider to be the "winter blues."

Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder

While depression treatment for SAD includes light therapy, psychotherapy and medication, there are several changes you can make to prevent SAD from overtaking your mood and life.

  1. Brighten up your environment. Natural sunlight has been proven to help elevate moods. Open blinds and place yourself in a natural sunlight area in your home or work area. Trimming tree branches that block sunlight and sitting closer to a window can brighten up your day and your mood.
  2. Spend time outside. Taking a walk outside, eating lunch at a park or taking work outside can help a person experiencing SAD. The change in routine may also help those who need a break from staying indoors due to work. The Mayo Clinic notes that spending some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning can help, even on cold or cloudy days.
  3. Exercise regularly. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety, which are common depression symptoms and SAD symptoms. In addition, becoming more fit can help you feel better about yourself and give your self-esteem a much needed boost.
  4. Take a trip. If you experience SAD during the winter, consider taking a trip to a warmer destination, if possible. If you experience the disorder during the summer, you may want to take a trip to a cooler location. Taking a vacation can alleviate symptoms, and the change in location and environment can also be beneficial.
  5. Stick to your treatment plan. Remember, there is no known way to prevent the development of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but beginning treatment before symptoms would normally start can be helpful. It is important to take medication as directed and to continue with therapy as scheduled.

Consistent dedication and effort in treating SAD can lead to lessening symptoms and positive results.

Source: MayoClinic

 
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