Ways to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

There are many people who go through life for short periods feeling sad or not like their usual selves. Sometimes, these mood changes begin and end when the seasons change. Some people may start to feel “down” when the days get shorter in the fall and winter (also called “winter blues”) and begin to feel better in the spring, with longer daylight hours.

In some cases, these mood changes are more serious and can affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities. If you have noticed significant changes in your mood and behaviour whenever the seasons change, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons.

If you ever feel this way don’t brush it off as a case of the “winter blues”, and take steps to keep your mood and motivation stable and lifted up throughout the year.

When to see a doctor:

It’s normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can’t get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your health care provider. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed, you turn to alcohol for comfort or relaxation, or you feel hopeless or think about suicide. (Source: mayoclinic.ca)

Here are twelve ways to combat seasonal affective disorder:

1. Talk to Your Doctor

2. Light Therapy

3. Psychotherapy

4. Avoid Alcohol

5. Spend more time outdoor, and get your daily dose of vitamin D.

6. Keep a journal to document and manage negative thoughts and feelings

7. Rearrange office or home furniture to maximize sun exposure

8. Resist unhealthy eating

9. Take a vacation in the sun

10 Take vitamin D Supplements

11. Eat vitamin D food like eggs, yoghurt

, salmon etc.

12. Exercise and try to work outdoors if possible, i.e walking or meetings.

Follow (Karen B.) on Twitter: @MEHEP4U or @MentalPerspect

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