Beat The Winter Blues

A few weeks ago we discussed Weatherizing Your Wellness For Winter. This week we want to delve a little deeper and discuss the mental wellness aspects that the season can change. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a disorder that is characterized by depression occurring at the same time of year. It generally occurs in climates where there is less sunlight during certain times of year. SAD is very common and affects more that 3 million Americans every year. SAD can be managed effectively and we’ve got some great tips to help you beat the blues and keep your spirits up.

 

Light Box Therapy

A light box isn’t like an ordinary bulb. Light box therapy is significantly brighter and is provided at different wavelengths. Light box therapy is most effective if used soon after waking in the morning for roughly 30 minutes. This therapy stimulates your body’s circadian rhythm and suppresses the release of melatonin during the daytime. This will give you more energy throughout the day and help shake off fatigue associated with SAD.

 

Dawn Simulators

Dawn simulators are like alarm clocks, but instead of jarring awake to a blaring alarm, you’re woken gently and gradually as the light this product emits increases in intensity. Aim for a dawn simulator that offers full-spectrum light, as this more closely mimics the sun.

 

Supplement

Adding Vitamin D to your daily regimen can offer significant improvement to SAD-related depression.

 

Exercise

Even on the coldest winter day, getting your blood pumping is key to lowering depression levels and elevating mood. Workout at home with yoga or exercise videos, dance in the living room, run in place. Just make sure you’re sticking to it.

 

 

Aromatherapy

Scent is linked to emotion and by diffusing certain oils, you can influence and change your mood, sleep cycle and appetite.

 

Journal

Keep a journal of your symptoms and feelings. This can help you track what’s going on and make it easier to discuss with a professional.

 

Consult Your Doctor

Because SAD is a form of depression, it’s best managed with the guidance of a mental health professional. You can start the process by seeing your primary care physician and discussing your concerns. Bring your journal so you can share what you’ve been experiencing in a thorough way.

 

If you are having thoughts or feelings of self-harm or other distressing emotions, please seek immediate help. Call National Alliance on Mental Illness at 800-950-6264 or text “NAMI” to 741741 for free, confidential crisis counseling Monday- Friday, 10am-6pm ET. Or call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 for 24/7 free and confidential support.

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