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3 Ways to Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

As we transition into the month of October, it’s exciting to see our seasonal fall favorites come back around. Delicious pumpkin spice flavored drinks and thick, comfy throw covers make us feel warm inside. These nuances remind us of the approaching holidays with family and the anticipation is comforting. Although, this significant change isn’t consoling for those struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. 

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes with the changes of the seasons. According to Mayo Clinic, symptoms of SAD begin in the fall and persist into the winter months causing you to feel down and extremely introverted. Symptoms of SAD include:

  • Having low energy and oversleeping

  • Feeling fatigued and sluggish 

  • Feeling depressed everyday for most of the day 

  • Having difficulty concentrating 

  • Having little to extreme appetite 

  • Feeling worthless or hopeless

  • Feeling FOMO through excessive use of social media

  • Having thoughts of suicide or death 

Here are 3 ways to reverse feelings of depression and anxiety in between seasons. 

Dedicate time for family and friend meet ups.

When you create time for social interactions, it can help pull you out of SAD . The couch where you wanted to be bundled up with your snacks, watching netflix all day. Social time with loved ones has a way of taking our minds off of our sadness and brightening our day. By pushing yourself to interact with others, you may encounter those who are struggling with some of the same feelings. Reconsider cancelling your plans just to stay home and bury yourself deeper in your depressive hole.

Join an exercise program or gym class.

When it’s colder outside, the desire to go outside and workout dwindles to not getting exercise at all. By joining a gym class or an exercise program, it puts more structure into your life. SAD influences us to experience feelings of low energy and sluggishness and working out getting our blood flowing. According to Psychology Today, aerobic exercise and yoga is said to increase serotonin production and release. Not only are you distracting yourself from this disorder, you are also making room for better health.

Use light therapy or get sunlight.

Light therapy or phototherapy can be used to treat SAD. It’s administered by a doctor using light therapy boxes for patients to sit in front of for a period of time. Although this is a safe therapy, it isn’t suggested for those with retinopathies or diabetes to use it. Staying inside becomes the norm in the fall and winter months, however, oftentimes it’s the lack of sunlight that is the culprit behind our depression. Go for a walk during the day when the sunlight is out to increase serotonin activity. 

Featured photo by Shutterstock 

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