Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to the change in the seasons. Many people start to have symptoms of SAD in the late Fall when there is less sunlight and the days are shorter. Symptoms of SAD include low energy, changes in appetite (hunger), trouble sleeping, and loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy. Try these tips to help ease SAD symptoms:
- Stay Active. When it’s cold outside, it can be hard to get out and exercise. Look for enjoyable indoor activities that keep your body moving and release feel-good brain chemicals like dance, yoga, or swimming. Search YouTube for a free workout video that excites you. Set up an area in your home with floor space to exercise! Or, if you like exercising with other people, check out free classes at Community Healthcare Network! See our schedule here.
- Make Social Plans. Fight the urge to hibernate this winter. Connecting with friends is a great way to boost your mood and keep you feeling motivated. Set up a weekly game-night, start a book club, or meet up for a warm cup of hot chocolate.
- Try Light Therapy (also known as phototherapy). Light therapy affects brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep, which ease the symptoms of SAD. During light therapy, you sit or work near a device called a light therapy box. The box gives off a bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. Talk to your doctor if you think a light box might be a good option for you.
If you are feeling sad this winter, you are not alone. Luckily, before you know it winter will be over! If symptoms continue beyond the winter season, talk to your doctor about more treatment options.