If lately you’ve been feeling different and you’re not sure why, you’re not alone. In the fall and winter with the shorter and darker days, many people feel more tired, down or blue. Often they don’t have the same energy or interest in things. This is very common and is often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D.
It’s the thing I dread the most about winter. Once the time change occurs and it starts getting darker earlier and earlier, I notice a change and I’m just not myself.
But, winter is not going away and we still have to get through it. Over the years, I’ve come up with strategies that have worked for me and for others that I’ve talked to so I thought I would share them.
(Keep in mind, I am not a doctor or expert, but just someone who has experienced it and wanted to share my ideas. )
5 Things You Can Do When You’re Feeling Seasonal Affective Disorder
This has become the number one thing for me. Not only during the darker winter months but all year round. I have found that exercising really helps. Working out has proven to give you more energy, lift your mood and get your endorphins and adrenaline going. And it can really help when you’re feeling a bit down. If you experience S.A.D, trying incorporating exercise into your day whether it’s a 20 minute walk, a you-tube exercise video or step class at the gym because it can really help!
Since the days are shorter, take advantage of the light when you can. If it’s sunny, sit outside or go for a walk and bask in the sunshine. It gives you vitamin D, boosts your energy and mood.
Music can be so uplifting and energizing! When you’re feeling down you can crank up your favourite songs and have a little dance party and you really will feel happier. If loud music isn’t an option, slip on the head phones and they play your favourite tunes while you’re getting some chores done. You’ll notice that the day will feel better.
4. Happy Light
A few years back, I purchased a Happy Light and when the days get darker, I try to start my morning by sitting in front of the happy light for 15-20 minutes and if I’m able, I try and do it later in the day before it becomes dark. The happy light gives you that additional light that you are missing from nature. Using it can give you more energy, enhance your mood and more! Here is an article with more benefits of the happy light. Here is a link to the same one I have, just a newer model.
5. Vitamin D
Darker days and less sun also means your body is getting less vitamin D. Taking a supplement or eating more foods that are rich in vitamin D can help lift your mood and your energy during the darker winter days.
These are just a few things you can do to help your self when you’re feeling down, without energy and a little depressed during the winter months.
If you are not sure whether you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder or not, here is an article that lists the symptoms.
Always consult a medical professional and if you are unsure of what you are feeling or of your symptoms. Depression affects many people and sometimes needs to be treated by a doctor.