If you notice a big change in your mood each year as fall rolls around and summer ends, you probably have the seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While it can get very serious in some cases, for other people it is just a matter of adjusting their lifestyle.
Your diet, sun exposure, and activity levels are just some of the things you should try to change to feel better. We want to help you overcome seasonal depression by sharing 6 helpful tips.
Try Light Therapy At Home
Think about how good sunlight feels on your skin and how you can create that same feeling in your own home. All you need is a solar table lamp or nightstand that provides 10,000 lux of light exposure and very little UV light.
This will help you do your own phototherapy, which is most effective when done in the morning for 20 minutes.
You should sit close to the light, but not look directly at it. In the meantime, you can do something else, like read or meditate.
You can continue to do so throughout the year if you find that it helps improve your mood. However, if you notice redness or itchiness on your skin, it’s best to see a doctor.
Go For A Walk Early In The Morning
Waking up in the morning may not be very easy or pleasant for you, so you should try taking a walk. Not only will your energy levels increase, but your entire body and mind will feel refreshed and energized as well.
And taking a walk first thing in the morning will set the tone for the rest of the day. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t walk at any time of the day if you’re feeling particularly sad or depressed.
Plus, walking every morning has been scientifically proven to improve brain function. This is because your brain receives greater amounts of blood.
And this action is highly related to stronger memory, better concentration, and the ability to solve problems effectively.
Try Volunteering Or Doing Something Nice For Someone Else
This is something that will not only help you get over your seasonal blues but will also keep your stress under control in the long run.
As one study found, the more money people set aside, the more embarrassed they feel and their cortisol levels rise. So generosity isn’t just about being kind, it’s also about staying healthy.
Also, every time we do a good deed, we have what is called an “auxiliary high,” which is basically a bunch of endorphins that are released into our brain.
We feel satisfied with ourselves and we have a great sense of gratitude for the things that we have and choose to share with others.
Move As Much As You Can In Any Way You Want
Adding movement and exercise to your life should be a priority for you if you are battling seasonal blues. Whether it’s lifting weights, going for a run, or doing any other activity, waking up your body will help your brain stay active, too.
You can do any of these activities with your friends, partner or even your children. You will find that your stress and anger levels will decrease and you will not feel as lonely as before.
Use Your Bedside Lamp As An Alarm Clock
Instead of that annoying alarm clock going off every morning, you can opt for an alarm clock at dawn. What it does is start lighting up your room like sunlight would if you were sleeping outside.
This helps your body and brain wake up naturally, rather than being brutally awakened by an alarm clock.
You can choose the time the alarm starts to sound based on how long it takes your body to wake up. The way these devices work is by helping to increase body temperature and cortisol levels.
And while cortisol can be a stress hormone, higher cortisol levels in the morning can be a good thing.
Plan A Small Getaway
If you know that fall and winter are not good times for you, plan to take a few hours off so you can take a trip during this time. Choose a location that is sunny all year round, with days longer than nights.
If you want, you can bring a good friend or someone who is also feeling as sad as you are right now. Don’t overload yourself with too many activities and instead choose simple things that will keep your body moving.
The effects that this trip will have on your soul will last for many weeks and you will feel happier and more energetic.
Your home will feel beautiful no matter what the weather outside and the hardships. Remember, it’s not about where we live, it’s about how we handle every situation that occurs.
What other ways have you found healthy to protect yourself from the fall blues? You can share them and help others overcome your seasonal depression.