Seasonal Affective Disorder: Combatting The SAD
Winter can be a tough time for any of us, but you may not have known that there is a term for that depression you’re feeling when the sun hasn’t appeared for days and you’ve been stuck inside feeling lethargic for days on end. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is something that affects many people at certain times of the year, and most often rears its head during the winter months when it’s cold and dreary, often leaving us feeling depressed or downtrodden.
It’s not something that affects everyone, and the exact reason as to why SAD occurs is not entirely known. There have been a few educated guesses that the lower sunlight levels in winter and typically reduced exercise due to the desire to stay indoors to avoid colder weather are the major contributing factors of SAD, and there are a few ways that you can help to combat them.
1. Replenish your vitamins
If you find that you have spent a lot of time indoors and out of the sun, it may be high time to try going outside and catch a few rays. If the weather outside seems even part-way reasonable, consider taking a walk. The more sunlight you can absorb, the more Vitamin D your body will be able to make. Just remember, it is still possible to get a sunburn in winter: skiers often wear sunscreen since harmful radiation can still bounce off the bright white snow and into our skin, causing the same issues as in the summer. Since most people don’t consider this danger, it is extra important to be vigilant if you are getting a sunburn from long exposure.
If you aren’t able to get outside, consider consulting your family doctor on their recommended supplements for Vitamin D. Taking the right dose is important, as having an excess of vitamins is not an extra benefit, but rather a waste of your money if you are taking too many supplements. Everything in moderation!
If you’re already going outside to get your vitamins, you’re getting exercise too! Even on dreary days though, it is important to ensure you are doing something to ensure you are getting the exercise you need to stay healthy and strong. It can feel tedious, but you will definitely thank yourself for the exercise you are getting, as people who are stagnant are far more likely to feel depressed than those who are keeping fit and active. Have you ever felt like your mind feels tired but your body still has lots of energy leftover? That can be because you didn’t burn the calories needed to make your body feel tired, and can mean that you have restless or substandard sleep. Proper sleep only occurs when your whole body is ready!
3. Keep your mind active
One of the best ways to counter depression is to spend some time with family and friends. This may mean that you are out getting some sunlight and exercising at the same time, but also is a great way to keep your mind busy. It’s also understandable that you may not want to spend a lot of time with others, but having a hobby or a pastime that can keep your mind busy and active is a great way to ensure you aren’t slipping into feeling lost or stuck in a rut.
Of course, these are only a few generally accepted strategies to help you on your way to feeling better in winter. Do you have other ways that help you feel happy and energized in winter? Let us know!Follow: