According to the Mayo Clinic, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or rather the winter blues, actually begins in the autumn and peaks in the winter. So, this fall, take a few steps to minimize or prevent your SAD symptoms. It is easy to do and you will feel much better.
Do not stop exercising simply because it is cold outside. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel happy. You do not have to join a gym to get exercise. You can do yoga at home, jump rope, run or walk outside, and planking are all feasible options if you do not wish to pay for a gym membership or if you do not feel like working out with strangers. Get moving to improve your mood!
Keep Connected IRL
You may feel like shutting down, however psychologists say it is important to remain connected with your support system in real life. Take the time to meet friends for coffee or dinner. Stay on top of family commitments. Become active in a special interest group in your town or city. Do not shut yourself out of social obligations or fun activities as they will help pull you out of your funk. Go out and do the things that make you feel good about yourself .
More Natural Light
Find a way to create more natural light at work and at home. One way to do this is to create an illusion of natural light by changing light bulbs. If you work in an office, find a place to work that is near large windows if possible. You might also try a lightbox.
Eat the right foods to combat mood swings and depression. Start by eating lean proteins such as salmon that will provide you with more energy rather than heavy meats. Eat more flax seeds and walnuts to fight depression. Eat berries to reduce stress that triggers depression. Greatly reduce your sugar consumption to avoid any major mood crashes. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin B12 and vitamin D. And, for some people, dark chocolate might just lift your spirits.
These are just a few steps you can take to try to minimize and prevent your winter blues symptoms. Some may work for you and others may not, however it does not hurt to try. And, be sure to see a doctor the moment you feel your situation is getting out of hand or if you simply want the extra help. There is no shame is seeking help to improve your quality of life and you are not alone!