The days are growing shorter, chillier, and darker—and for many Americans, that’s highly unwelcome news. As many as one in five of all Americans struggle with a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD—a kind of depression that’s brought on by changes to the weather and to the availability of natural light.
This seasonal mood disorder can be discouraging, but it doesn’t have to be debilitating. There are several things you can do to cope.
Tips for Coping with SAD
Get as much natural light as you can, especially in the morning. During fall and winter, sunlight is in shorter supply—so be sure you make the most of what you’ve got. Open your curtains wide as soon as you get up, filling your home with sunlight.
Go outside when you can. You may not have a lot of opportunities to go outside and soak up the sun—but if you do have a particularly sunny afternoon, make sure you take advantage of it!
Maintain a routine. One of the worst things you can do when you have SAD is to neglect your hobbies, your exercise routine, or your other daily activities. Yes, you may feel unmotivated—but dropping these pursuits will only make you feel more so.
Get some exercise. Physical activity is a great, natural mood booster—and potentially a good way to make up for that lost sunlight.
Avoid sugar. You might think of sugar as a quick way to boost your energy levels—but actually, it usually winds up depressing you and making you slump.
Invest in a light box. You can find light boxes made specifically for people with SAD; buy one and try sitting in front of it for a few minutes each day. Many people report that these boxes make a huge difference!
Put your mental health first, no matter the season—and don’t hesitate to call Seacliff Recovery to learn more.Connect with Seacliff Recovery today.