4 Ways to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder
Changing seasons have a way of sapping all of the energy from your body. This change in daylight and weather has been a notable trigger for depression. Instead of giving in, it is your job to fight off the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
1. Seek Professional Help
Some individuals let things get completely out of hand before seeking inpatient treatment for seasonal depression. Whether it is pride or stubbornness, there is no reason to overlook the knowledge of a professional. During a consultation, treatment options are discussed based on the severity of the issue. Light therapy, counseling and even medication can all provide the relief you need to make it through the season. The effectiveness of each treatment will come down to how quickly you recognize the biggest triggers of SAD. Every individual has a different trigger, and it may lead to specific problems dealing with the actual cause. Recognition is a big part of the battle, but only a small part of the treatment.
Getting your heart rate up has positive health effects that can last for days. It isn’t uncommon to go for a run and find your mind completely blank during and after the workout. This type of peace is rare and can completely calm and anxiety that comes with SAD. The exercise doesn’t have to be high impact, as there have been positive results from light aerobic exercise. But the big rule here is that you can’t exercise inside your home – that is counterproductive to getting the juices flowing when you’re under the effects of SAD. Do it outside, and if possible, with a group of people.
3. What Do You Eat?
No matter how healthy a person eats, there is always a specific type of junk food that makes them happy. When you’re suffering from SAD, that junk food goes from a guilty pleasure to pure fuel. Over a full season, this can negatively impact your mental and physical health. The dependency will only get worse as you try to pull away once the seasons change. You can still indulge, but try to cut down on the sugar so that it doesn’t slow down your entire body. With more healthy food in a day, your brain will have more energy to operate at its full capacity. In turn, that also means less weight to worry about losing at the change of a season.
4. Prioritize Social Activities
Social isolation will lead to depression. The positive connections you forge in life are huge boosts to your mental health. When suffering from SAD, the psychological impact can feel overwhelming. In many ways, you feel like a part of your life has been temporarily cut out. If getting out and socializing leads to procrastination, get creative. A video call with someone you care about is better than a phone call. Once that becomes comfortable, other creative ways to socialize during the changing seasons will open up.
Finding the Right Answers
To prevent seasonal affective disorder from taking over, you have to recognize why it disrupts your mood. The numbers for SAD continue to rise, whether it is mild or severe symptoms. By being prepared, you have a better chance of getting through troublesome seasons.