Winter is around the corner and now is the time to start proactively looking at how you can prepare for staying mentally healthy during the cold season. SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is generally triggered by the cold seasons of the year, usually late fall or winter. For about 4%-6% Americans, SAD will be characterized by fatigue, depressive symptoms, and increased anxiety among other symptoms. Here are some tips that you can use to help fight SAD in the coming months.
Find a Light Box
Lightboxes, or sunlamps, are great ways to help fight Seasonal Affective Disorder. A light therapy box is meant to simulate the natural sunlight that you would receive in the spring and the summer. These are great tools to use in the mornings as a dawn simulator. But don’t stop there! Using a light box throughout the day for small periods of time can help you feel more rejuvenated.
Use Natural Treatments
Besides investing in a lightbox, there other natural remedies that can help you with SAD. Ask your doctor about adding in a Vitamin D supplement. Be sure to eat a healthy and balanced diet throughout the course of the winter. It can be difficult to continue a healthy lifestyle when the cravings for comfort foods kick in and fresh produce is harder to get your hands on but spending the time to carefully plan out your meals can prove quite beneficial. Essential oils can also be beneficial in helping you relax after a particularly dreary day.
Winter is a time for some animals to hibernate but it shouldn’t keep you from staying active. Keeping your energy levels up and getting out of the house can help you in your battle against Seasonal Affective Disorder. Try to get out and walk around the block during your lunch hour to give your body and mind a chance to reset and soak in all the sun that is available. If getting outside is not an option, try to commit to short exercise routines you can do from home.
Shift Your Vacation Schedule
Those with more extreme SAD may need to approach it with more of a lifestyle change. Consider planning a vacation for the colder months and take that opportunity to get out of your everyday environment and reset. This can be a great opportunity to go somewhere that you can experience summer in the winter.
Spend some time this fall learning if these items will can you fight SAD. Employing natural remedies, finding a sun lamp and staying active are great proactive ways to fight SAD. Other options can include talking with your doctor if your symptoms tend to be more severe and possibly making some more intense lifestyle shifts. All of these items can help you continue to improve your mental health this winter.