If you suffer from seasonal depression, making it through the winter months can be difficult. However, there are some effective solutions you can use to cope with the disorder.
Do you find yourself getting depressed and moody as the winter begins to take hold? You may think it’s just the fact that the days are shorter and the holidays are looming. But you could, in fact, be experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. This disorder affects more than twenty percent of Americans on a yearly basis. So it is possible that seasonal depression is your problem as well. With that in mind, read on below for some top tips for coping with the depression of Seasonal Affective Disorder over the long winter months.
Keep to Your Routine
The most helpful tip to help you cope with seasonal depression is to keep to your routine. If you decide to sit in the house and give into the depression, it’s only going to get worse. You’ll feel much better if you keep that book club day or go out with friends for that once a week dinner.
In other words, don’t let the early setting sun stop you from doing the things you do during daylight savings time. Keep on keeping on!
Stick to a Normal Sleep Schedule
Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule is important when you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Make sure that you get your full eight hours. Avoid sleeping in like a teenager to while the day away, but don’t become a night owl either.
This is easier than you think if you have a bedroom that is ready for sleep. Make sure the room is cool and that any electronics are shut off in that room. The bedroom is for sleeping, not for watching TV, doing work in bed on the computer, or playing on your phone.
Find Some Wintertime Hobbies
Some people think that you can only have outside hobbies in the summertime. That’s not at all true. If you love your summertime activities, then find some winter ones to have fun during the long, dark days.
Fun is a great way to keep your spirits up. So find something to do, from cooking the days away to hitting the local ice rink.
Stick to an Aerobic Exercise Routine
Exercise and sunshine are important, no matter what time of year it is. Don’t give up on your aerobic exercise routine just because the winter has set in and you have the winter blues.
Instead, make sure to get in at least five days a week, 30 minutes a day of aerobic exercise. It’s best to put this on your schedule so that you are on an even keel during this depressing time of year for you.
Take a Trip
While not possible for everyone, booking a trip to somewhere warm and sunny is a great way to cope with your SAD. Head south for the winter and you will benefit from the sunshine. Florida and other southern states don’t get the cold like the northern states do. If possible, book a trip until the worst of the winter is behind you.
Never Self-Medicate if You are Impaired/Depressed
Something which you should never do when suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder is self-medicating if you are impaired, this means if you are already depressed. Either one could affect your ability to judge the type of medicine you are taking. If you are going to take any medication, it’s best to consult your doctor.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Doctor
It’s important to remember that SAD is a form of depression and needs to be diagnosed by a health professional. If you feel that you have the symptoms of SAD, make an appointment with your doctor right away. They can help you come up with ways to alleviate the disorder during the winter months.
Invest in Light from a Box
If you suffer from SAD during the winter months, then investing in a light therapy box is a good way to relieve the seasonal depression. The light from the box suppresses the melatonin release in your body, making you feel better and less depressed.
Stay Connected with the World
When you are depressed, you need to not be alone. Make every attempt to stay connected with the family and friends that you are eager to see any other time of year. You can do this by reaching out to the people that mean the most to you for lunch or even just a phone conversation when needed.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a depression that can become a serious threat to your health if it is ignored. Follow these tips to help you cope with seasonal depression, but please get help if you find that nothing is working. Remember, the winter will pass, and the sun will be shining strong once again!