Winter got you down? Who doesn’t love that first dusting of snow to complete that white Christmas look but once December 25th has come and gone and then the credit card bills come in, it’s dumpsville for you. Cue sad music; it’s beginning to look a lot like the after Christmas blues.
It’s a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), time of year.
Get ready to turn that frown upside-down! Or, at least, get ready to enliven your life with the occasional smile. We know that depression isn’t something you can just fix by willing yourself to feel better, but this blog can help brighten your spirits, at least a little, but giving you some hope.
Breaking through the oppressive and repressive nature of SAD starts with a simple decision: to decide you’re going to try to do something about it. You’re going to attempt to manufacture your own happiness. And if it doesn’t work at first? You’re going to try, try again. Don’t quit on you! (We won’t either!)
Why so SAD?
SAD is a seasonal depression recognized as a mental health disorder. It usually starts up in fall just before the snow flies as the days grow colder and usually lasts until the Spring thaw and the coming of the sun. Women over 30 tend to be more susceptible. Concerned this sounds a lot like someone you know; here are some symptoms of SAD to watch out for:
- Daily depression
- Lack of interest in your usual likes
- Low energy
- Sleep difficulties
- Weight and appetite changes
- Hard time concentrating
- Feeling down on yourself or hopeless, or suicidal thoughts
From SAD to RAD
Take the reins on your depression and employ these tactics.
- Say no to Stress: Stress is a crippler, it’ll take you out at the knees so do your best to avoid any unnecessary stressors. If that means staying clear of your mother-in-law then so be it!
- Lighter Days: On sunshiny days, soak up as much cold sunshine as you can.
- Support: Join a support group and y’all can get RAD together!
- Healthful: Eat well and exercise to help beat SAD - try yoga and benefit from it’s calming relaxation poses!
- Vitamins: Pop some Vitamin D to help curb the blues.
- Vacay: Take a trip elsewhere for some sunshine, happiness and gummy-bear clouds in the sky!
- Lightbox Therapy: Bask in Fluorescent light; for SAD use a minimum of 2,500 lux.
If you’re finding it hard to manage your SAD - there’s no shame in that - get some help and support by heading to your doctor to discuss your options. Especially, if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts then please, go to the doctor. Some available options your Doc may consider are:
- Talk to a Professional: Your Doc may think counselling or doing CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is a good idea.
- Antidepressants: They will help you cope and manage your depression symptoms.
- St. John’s Wort: For a natural pick-me-up, only if prescribed by your Doc, to help with moderate depression.
- Light Therapy: Like a lightbox, phototherapy helps regulate your moods by activating certain chemicals like serotonin in your brain - the way the sun would.
Say No to SAD and Enjoy EVERY Season
Don’t let your depression get the better of you, employ all these tricks and find which combo works best for you! Cut SAD and it’s henchmen of depression out, because soon enough you’ll be complaining about sunburns as you soak up that summer sun!
What do you do to chase away the winter blues? Tell us about it in the comments!
I am a massage therapist, and work in a dark room all day, so the effects of SAD are real to me. To combat the blues, I enjoy fires in the fireplace or light candles. I have nice scents going through the house. I always have fresh flowers (to remind me I’m one day closer to Spring and SUMMER. I get massages and do whatever I can to try and brighten my spirits. 😁
working out is #1. going for a walk at night before bed is HUGE for me too. i also do light therapy which is temporarily effective. i also find that having things to look forward to helps me a lot, so i try to look forward to one thing each day (ex: “after dinner i will make my favorite peppermint coffee cocoa with stevia” – that is a short term look-forward-to and then i plan weekly things (a dinner out) and monthly (i will drive to suchandsuch city and go thrift shopping with my daughter) so that i have short and longer term things to keep moving myself FORWARD.