Every year around this time, we start to experience less and less daylight. For those people who don’t get up all that early, daylight savings time can decrease that amount of daylight even more.
A pronounced and negative emotional response to the diminishment of daylight is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (which happens to form a very appropriate acronym).
It’s more than just being a little bummed out. People who suffer from SAD feel lethargic and depressed. The disorder is linked to a lack of melatonin production from light deprivation.
Here are some tips to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder…
Run For Your Life
The fall and winter are a great time to finally start that exercise regimen. According to Psychology Today, “This is the time of year to get as much as you can.” The ability of exercise to diminish depression is well-documented.
It’s cold and dark outside and you are depressed. It’s time like these that eating sweets and other indulgent sorts of food can seem too irresistible. Remind yourself that it will only make you feel worse. In fact, wouldn’t this be the perfect time to start eating well?
Again, this is just good advice in general but it makes particular sense for those suffering from SAD. Take a ten minute walk while the sun is still up. Of course, below freezing temperatures might seem discouraging, but being temporarily cold can be better than hibernating inside all winter. The sun provides Vitamin D, which is a natural anti-depressant.
If your SAD is starting to affect your work and dramatically lower your quality of life, another option is to see a professional and perhaps take medication.