Five Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder Before it Starts

The weather is changing and SAD is around the corner.

I don’t know about you, but every time the weather changes, I catch myself feeling a little down. It’s mostly because I love the outdoors so much, and I know the coming months involve being inside. Compound that with a rising pandemic that is likely going to force us to stay indoors all winter, and you have a perfect storm for the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Most people have experienced SAD, even if they don’t recognize it. Seasonal Affective Disorder can manifest in a number of ways, but it is almost always accompanied by depressive thoughts and overall sluggishness.

Even though SAD is fairly inevitable, there are a few ways you can start fighting it before it starts.

Change your diet: Vitamin D, Folic acid, Magnesium, and B vitamins are four ways you can help keep SAD at bay, either through supplements, or by changing your diet. Vitamin D is specifically helpful in fighting SAD.

Light therapy: If you are especially susceptible to SAD, making sure you get enough sunlight, or using light therapy lamps are two great ways to keep your mood in check. This is especially helpful during daylight savings time, when it feels like midnight at 4 pm.

Exercise: Exercise is one of the best ways to create endorphins and combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. Create a regular exercise routine now by exercising early in the morning. Do that for 33 days and it will become a habit that can help you get through the coming months.

READ MORE: Is Indoor Tanning Linked to Depression?

Create a support system: Reaching out to people when you are feeling depressed is one of the hardest, and helpful things you can do. Especially during these times, creating a relationship with someone that you can video chat with when you are feeling down will do wonders for your SAD.

Create a routine: Open your curtains before you go to bed so the sunlight comes in first thing in the morning. Drink water when you first wake up, and put on your workout clothes to get yourself motivated. Creating a routine that supports a healthy sleep schedule, diet and exercise regimen is one of the best ways to regulate your mood through the winter.

No matter how hard you try, Seasonal Affective Disorder may be inevitable. If you know that you tend to suffer from it, try these techniques to head it off at the pass.

Especially during these trying times, it’s important to prioritize your mental health in a meaningful, habitual way.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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