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seasonal affective disorder

How To Reduce Symptoms Of Seasonal Affective Disorder Naturally

The winter months are coming, it’s colder and it’s getting darker earlier. In these times, it is common for people to feel groggy, tired, low and many people also put on a lot of weight in winter. This is also commonly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is a depressive disorder that is triggered through the seasonal change from light to dark. This means that it usually happens during the autumn and winter months and come back to positive vibes in spring.

Many people suffer from this and it can affect everyone differently in terms of severity. Some can be serious enough to get help, and then others will be classed as a lower class of depression called the winter blues (S-SAD).

Common Symptoms of SAD:
  • Low mood
  • Weight gain due to overeating
  • Sleeping more often than usual
  • The loss of the excitement feeling
  • Irritability

If one is suffering from S-SAD, then one may experience loss of weight due to loss of appetite,  insomnia and anxiety. There has been a theory as to why this happens and is commonly thought that one may be deficient in vitamin D so Vitamin D Tablets may be a good option to try before speaking to a health professional.

Avoid Alcohol

People use alcohol for many different reasons. Whether it is times of stress, sadness or the opposite t just have a good time with friends. If you find yourself drinking more than usual, this may be down to how you are feeling inside. When one is feeling down, they may turn to the bottle, but this does more harm than good. Alcohol is a depressant meaning it can cause further depression.

If one is drinking more than usual, then you should be aware that this can lead to a dependency which will, in turn, make your depression even worse and may lead you onto other substances. If you are experiencing this, then you should find the route of the problem by asking yourself, “why are you drinking?”.

Let The Sunshine In

If you feel you are suffering from seasonal affective disorder, then you will want to be getting outside as much as you can to take advantage of the natural sunlight. On cold days, it’s understandable that you don’t want to go outside, but wrap up warm and go for a short stroll in the afternoon when the sun is at its highest point.

If you are at home or indoors, then keep your curtains and blinds open so you can let in the natural sunlight. If you are working from home, then you should be working close to a window or a natural source of light as this works better than artificial light as this can negatively affect your SAD.

Get Some Exercise

Exercise benefits the body in countless ways and can seriously help most forms of depression. Exercise can also help to get rid of that excess weight that you have put on through SAD. Many people are more dedicated to going to the gym in the winter as it helps to feel better about yourself which will in turn help to take your mind off the low mood.

Outdoor exercise is the best source of exercise as it gets you out in the elements and will also help you to get the daylight that your body is craving. If you find that it is too cold, wet or snowy outside, then opt for a machine close to a window so you can experience some natural light.

If you are not comfortable going back to the gym yet due to COVID, then you can still break a sweat at home by doing some home workouts or picking up some cheap, second-hand workout equipment.

Prioritise Social Events

One fun way to help with seasonal affective disorder is to have things planned with friends and family and stick to them. By being proactive and making plans you keep busy as well as you having something to look forward to. It is commonly known that there is a correlation between a lack of social interaction and depression which is even more evident with the lockdowns that were in place last year.

If you can’t get to see your family and friends, then you can think about other innovative ways in how you can connect with them. One option is to have a Zoom call, others can be just to go for a short walk. There are many different ways in which you can help your seasonal affective order but if you are finding that you are struggling to do anything, then a doctor should be your first point of call.

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