Best Ways to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder
Do you get glum every time the season changes and the chilly winds are replaced by the burning heat wave? Do the snowy, rainy mornings make you sad and make it difficult to get out of bed? Then you are a classic case of someone who has Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Research says that every time the season changes our exposure to light reduces considerably. The winter blues that most of you feel so deeply isn’t just a phrase, it’s a condition and here are ways you can get rid of it.
Since the whole issue arises due to our lack of exposure to sunlight, light therapy is one of the most effective ways to get rid of SAD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a daily dose of roughly 20 to 60 minutes of exposure to light can do the trick.
Bright light emitting lamps and light boxes can serve this purpose effectively and are readily available in the market. The emitted light results in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for our mood and emotional regulation.
Pocket Full of Sunshine
Nothing can beat the affect of the natural source of light to help shoo away these winter blues. So whenever the sun decides to grace your area make the most of it and bask in nature’s brilliant antidote for seasonal affective disorder. Soaking in the warmth of the winter sun will not only make you feel more active but also help uplift your spirit.
As they say, a healthy body bears a healthy mind. Hence, no surprise there that regular exercise is a sure shot way to keep that winter despair at bay. Choose the exercise of your liking and do not let anything come in between you and your goal. Cherry on the cake would be if you pick a routine that can be done outdoors. A full body workout while soaking some light is an excellent combination to fight SAD.
If the severity of the issue persists then it is best to consult a doctor and take the prescribed medication. Nothing should keep you from living your life to the fullest or hinder your day-to-day activities. Normally there are 2 prescriptions which are usually given: one to boost serotonin levels and another to collectively stimulate 3 important mood-lifting neurotransmitters namely dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine. The effects of these can vary from person to person so do consult with your therapist before taking anti-depressants.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Your thought process can widely determine your actions and behavior which is why Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is credited with having the ability to do wonders for people suffering from SAD. As one of the most effective forms of psychotherapy, it will help you understand how the feeling of depression during seasonal changes is a completely normal phenomenon and is naturally caused due to light deprivation.
Watch Your Cravings
A most common misconception while combating the depressing change of weather is giving into all and any kind of junk food cravings. This is not only a temporary but also a useless fix. While you might feel happy devouring junk food, the fat being deposited in your body is not going to help you feel better in the long run. The added weight gain won’t aid in uplifting your spirits either. Studies have shown that people eating junk food had a higher risk of feeling depressed compared to people eating healthier food items.
Nobody else can help you manage and fight your stress better than yourself. You are your own best friend so try to identify which things make you genuinely happy and which activities are sucking the happiness out of you! If the idea of hosting a grand party excites you at first but the stress of managing it is giving you anxiety, then ditch the party and do something that is stress free and involves less hassle. Choose your convenience and peace of mind over everything else.
Ditch The Cold and Party in the Sun
An excellent way to crawl out of the winter blues can be to take a vacation and go someplace warm and sunny. Break the cold monotony and plan a trip somewhere the cold will not bother you. This will help rejuvenate your spirits and provide you with adequate light exposure to help you for the rest of the winter.
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