As the days get shorter and the weather shifts, you may find yourself feeling down. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a form of seasonal depression. It’s estimated that SAD affects 10 million Americans. This disorder is common, and it’s also treatable. Here are a few ways you can fight seasonal depression without medication.
While most people can handle seasonal depression symptoms on their own, it is still a very real mental health disorder. It’s a legitimate form of depression, so it’s best to be formally diagnosed by a doctor. Talking with a professional psychiatrist can also help relieve symptoms.
Due to SAD being so common, there are a lot of commercial products out there that can help with that. Light lamps or light boxes give off a light that mimics sunshine. Sitting in front of one for 30 minutes every day can stimulate your body’s circadian rhythms and suppress the release of melatonin, which makes us sleepy. So give it a try!
Scent is one of the most powerful senses. Aromatherapy has proven to help SAD patients. Essential oils influence areas of the brain that control moods and the body’s internal clock. Try a few drops of essential oils in your bath or before bed and see how your mood improves.
You may be tired of this tip, but there is tons of science that backs up the influence exercise has on mood. Outdoor exercise is especially helpful in relieving SAD symptoms. Try being active for 30 minutes every day, whether that’s a yoga class or just a walk around the block.
Research shows that SAD is linked to low levels of vitamin D. It’s not the sole cause of it, but people that take vitamin D supplements saw significant improvements in their seasonal depression.
A lack of sleep has a big impact on one’s mood. The changing length of days can really mess with people’s internal schedules, but do your best to get regular sleep.