How to Manage Seasonal Depression

As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, the winter time can bring gloom, loss of energy and downright depression – at least for an estimated 10 million Americans suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Sigh.  Even its acronym spells the word “sad.”

Seasonal Affective Disorder is also known as seasonal depression, winter blues or winter depression.  It’s a mood disorder that affects people who who have normal mental health throughout most of the year but experience a serious mood change at the same time each year, most commonly on the onset of winter. (Wikipedia)

Fortunately, this condition is highly treatable.  There are many ways to manage seasonal depression, naturally and with the help of therapies, and we will talk about them one by one.

Start your day with a low intensity workout.

One of the symptoms of SAD is diminished energy, and that makes this very hard to do.  But if you are looking for a solution, you really need to force yourself to do some exercise every day.  Regular exercise is proven to help treat any type of depression and that includes this winter depression.  I suggest that you start your day with a low-intensity workout like brisk walking, elliptical or any steady-state cardio workout of your choice.   This will get your blood flowing, release happy hormones and set a positive tone as you begin your day.

Spend more time outside when the sun is out.

The reduced level of sunlight can cause the onset of winter seasonal depression.  So spend more time outdoors while the sun is still out and immerse yourself in nature or explore the city.

Keep things bright inside your home.

Open the curtains or blinds to let the sunlight inside your home.  Add more lamps and lighting fixtures to your space to keep your home bright, light and airy.

Invest in a Light Therapy Box.

Light therapy is a treatment prescribed by many medical professionals when it comes to the treatment of SAD.  But you don’t need a prescription to buy one.  Make sure to get yourself a Light Box that is UV-free to protect yourself from skin cancer.

This light and ion therapy light from Nature Bright is a Best Seller on Amazon.  It doesn’t just mimics the effects of a sunny sky, but also has an ion air outlet to dispense fragrance to soothe your mood.

Use Dawn Stimulators.

Another tool that you can buy on your own is a Dawn Simulator.  Studies show that Dawn Simulation is an effective way to treat winter depression, as it mimics the natural springtime sunrise when in reality, it’s still dark outside.

Brands such as Philips and INLIFE both have wake-up lights that light up 30 minutes before your alarm time and gradually brighten to waking you up naturally and in a good mood.

Seek professional help.

Lastly, if all these simple ways don’t help you at all, it’s probably time to seek professional help.  Talk to a therapist or a psychologist to help you find other ways to manage your depression, probably with other types of therapies or medication.

About Toni Marie

Toni is Senior Editor for GuestDietBlog, as well as a contributing author. In addition to writing about diet and health, she also likes to write about relationships. She is also a nurse, and the primary caregiver for her mother.
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