The Winter Doldrums: Combating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

It’s that time of the year again. The days get a little colder and shorter and with the holidays behind us, the warmer weather seems so far away. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects millions of Americans each year during the winter months and while you may feel like you can “tough it out” or “get over it,” sometimes getting through the rough months is a little more difficult for some than others.

In this article, we’ll talk about 5 ways to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). From light therapy to getting a little more exercise to learning to enjoy winter activities, you can manage your SAD.

1. Let there be light
Some doctors and psychologists recommend light therapy for helping to treat SAD. Light therapy usually comes in the form of a light box, but you can also make small adjustments like using lighter curtains or installing lamps and other artificial light sources to help brighten up you home.

2. Get outside
Not everyone loves winter sports. We understand that. But even a 5 minute walk outside each day can do wonders for your mental health. So bundle up and take a short walk around the neighborhood—it could significantly boost your mood!

3. Try exercise
It’s no secret that exercise can reduce symptoms of depression. Exercise releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in your brain and in your body, making you feel better instantly. You’ll also feel more accomplished after exercising.
4. Change your diet
We love comfort food just as much as the next person, but burying your SAD symptoms in ice cream and fried chicken might be harming you more than helping you. Try switching up your diet by adding in more organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy to give your immune system a boost.

5. Talk to someone
Don’t let your Seasonal Affective Disorder take over your life. If you’re having a difficult time getting through the winter months, we always recommend talking to a psychologist to help manage your symptoms.

If you think that you might be dealing with symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, give us a call at 330.764.7916. Our psychologists and licensed social workers can help you with a plan to manage your symptoms and get back on track.