Seasonal Affective Disorder or more commonly known as SAD is a type of depression that occurs during changes in seasons. For many people, it begins and ends around the same time yearly. According to studies, minimal light and shorter days result in chemical changes in the brain that leads to people feeling sad or depressed. That is why most people deal with SAD during the fall or winter, and then they start to recover when spring or summer comes.
So, the next time you get the winter blues, keep in mind that is not all in your head, there are millions of people struggling with it as well. The best thing is to be mindful of how to deal with it.
To be able to deal with it, first, you must be aware of the symptoms.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder:
- Loss of interest in normal daily activities
- Low self-esteem or self-confidence
- Moodiness and irritable
- Low sex drive
- Feeling guilty and hopeless
- Less sociable
- Increased appetite and weight gain
There are other signs or symptoms of SAD. However, it is difficult for most to exactly distinguish if it is indeed SAD or other mental health issues.
Now, how do people deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder?
5 ways to cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder?
- Embrace the light – Light or sunlight. As mentioned above, minimal light can trigger a change in the mind that makes an individual feel down or depressed. Light therapy is now a common method for people with SAD to feel better. The idea is to expose oneself to light for a while. Most people would go out early in the morning to soak up sunlight and not mention Vitamin D. It is highly suggested by many people to rely on sunlight or a therapy light instead of using smartphones.
- Exercise – Exercise, no matter what type of work out can help someone feel happier. Exercise is the opposite of SAD because it is an activity that stimulates the brain resulting in an individual feeling happier or relaxed. Employees or professionals are vulnerable to this condition. It is also good to note that these people are also dealing with stress from work and that could amplify. One of the top tips from experts for professionals to better deal with all of these is staying active.
- Healthier diet – Vegetables like spinach, mustard greens, and collard greens are very effective in minimizing symptoms of SAD. According to an article by Cleveland Clinic “dark green leafy vegetables” are great when dealing with SAD. Overeating and too much unhealthy food can make a person more depressed. So, a healthier diet means a healthier mind.
- Meditate – Meditating increases serotonin levels which can make an individual feel good or better. Meditation is a brain exercise that clears the mind of so many thoughts either positive or negative. Through this practice, people are able to get in touch with themselves and better focus on the things that give them value. Meditation benefits your emotional well-being. Meditation is becoming more and more of a norm among millions of people around the globe. This resulted in so much innovation in the wellness industry.
- Quality time with loved ones – Family and friends are the greatest sources of happiness and energy for millions of people. The love, support, and kindness you receive from a loved one can be the very thing you need to cope with SAD or other mental health conditions. When dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, people tend to isolate themselves from the outside world. That can only make things worse. That is why a visit from someone you care about and who cares about you is important when you are dealing with this.