How to Deal With Seasonal Depression

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We’re nearing the close of the first month in January 2019, but it feels like it’s the 1,000th month of winter, right?  Between the cold temperatures, frigid wind, and general darkness outside. It’s hard to keep your spirits up this far into the winter season.

One of the worst parts about winter is absolutely the seasonal depression that can sometimes come with it.  Known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), this condition is common in the winter and can affect anyone.  Although the true cause o this condition is not entirely known, it has been attributed to the change in weather and shorter days that happen during the winter season.

With the lack of sunlight and the general misery of the weather, it can be hard to keep your spirits up.  Dealing with seasonal depression can be a challenge if you’re new to the game or just not sure how to handle it.  Never fear – here are our top tips for dealing with seasonal depression this winter.

 

TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR

The hardest part about seasonal depression is asking for help.  Your doctor is a fantastic resource for knowledge on how to deal with this condition as well as support for what you are feeling.  Make sure that you talk to them before taking on an action plan for treating this condition – they will be able to point you in the right direction.

 

INVEST IN LIGHT THERAPY

One of the most effective treatments for seasonal depression is the use of a light therapy box.  This contraption is designed to give off light that mimics natural sunlight, stimulating your body’s circadian rhythm and suppressing the release of melatonin.  It is often prescribed by a doctor and used for 30 minutes a day, primarily in the mornings, to simulate waking up to pure sunshine.

 

TRY OUT DAWN THERAPY

Similar to light therapy, dawn therapy uses natural light to help stimulate your body’s circadian rhythm, waking you up gently in the mornings with increasing levels of light rather than through the use of an alarm clock.  It helps to reset your mind, making you consciously and unconsciously aware that it is morning.

 

GET OUTSIDE

One of the best ways to help treat your SAD?  Experiencing the great outdoors!  In the winter months, we tend to hole up indoors in the library or our dorm rooms, keeping cozy and warm.  However, with seasonal depression, it is best to get outdoors as much as possible during the day to experience the sunlight.  This can help reset your body and your mind to a sense of normalcy.

 

ADD SOME VITAMIN D TO YOUR ROUTINE

One of the biggest deficits your body experiences in the winter is the lack of Vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight.  By adding a simple supplement to your everyday routine, you can help your body to feel better naturally.  Be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin taking a Vitamin D supplement, too – they may have an alternative suggestion or be able to prescribe a higher strength option to help you really get back to your best.

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OCM Staff
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