Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs during the same part of the year, most commonly in the winter when exposure to sunlight is reduced and less serotonin is produced. It affects about 6% of Americans (mostly women) and can be especially hard on students and others with a fixed schedule. If you struggle with seasonal affective disorder, know that you are not alone. Reading this list may inspire you to make some changes.
1. Move your bedtime up
In the winter, when days get shorter and darker, our bodies produce less melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep cycles. When we go to bed at night, our brains start secreting melatonin. The hormone makes us feel tired and helps us fall asleep quickly. But as the day goes on and sunlight fades away, our bodies stop producing melatonin and we stay awake longer than usual; this makes us feel more tired during the day.
So if you want to combat SAD by making sure you're getting enough sunlight during the day, moving your bedtime up could help you get more shut-eye at night without disrupting your schedule too much. And if you're finding yourself waking up earlier than usual due to lack of sleep from getting up early all winter long, try setting an earlier bedtime so you can catch up on those hours before it gets dark outside again!
2. Take Vitamin D supplements
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that happens to many people during the fall and winter months. The symptoms of SAD include an intense feeling of sadness, fatigue and lack of motivation.
Studies have shown that taking vitamin D supplements can help fight off seasonal affective disorder. This is because vitamin D helps boost your mood and energy levels by increasing serotonin production in your brain.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your emotions. It also helps you sleep better at night and stay awake during the day. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to low serotonin levels, which can cause depression, anxiety, insomnia and other mental health problems.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It's believed that lack of sunlight during the winter months decreases vitamin D production in our bodies and may contribute to SAD symptoms in some people.
3.Exercise in the daylight if possible
Exercise can help boost your mood and energy levels, but it's important to choose an activity that you enjoy and that doesn't require a lot of time or equipment. If you're feeling depressed, try walking outside during the day or taking an indoor aerobics class when it's light outside. You could also go for a brisk walk around your neighborhood or join a sports league with friends.
If you don't feel like exercising, try doing something that makes you happy — like shopping or cooking — as long as it keeps your mind occupied and focused on something other than your depression.
4. Eat healthy foods
Eating healthy foods can help overcome seasonal affective disorder because they contain nutrients that are essential for good health — such as vitamins A and C, zinc and magnesium. These nutrients help improve moods by boosting your immune system and promoting relaxation.
In addition, eating more fruits and vegetables will help boost your intake of antioxidants which fight off free radicals that can damage cells in the body (including brain cells). This helps reduce stress levels which can trigger symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
5. Spend time with your friends or family
Spending time with friends and family can help you feel better about yourself. When we spend time with people we care about, we tend to see them as more positive and less negative than when we spend time alone or with strangers. This can make us feel better about ourselves, which can help us overcome seasonal depression.
Spending time with friends and family also helps us feel connected to others. When you spend time with people who care about you, it gives you a sense of belonging—a feeling that many people with SAD lack because they feel isolated from society during warmer months when everyone else seems happy. Feeling connected means feeling less alone, which helps fight feelings of melancholy that accompany SAD.
Meditation is one of the best natural remedies for seasonal depression because it helps you deal with stress in a healthy way. When you meditate, you learn how to control your emotions and negative thoughts instead of letting them control you. This kind of mindfulness practice can be especially beneficial for people with SAD because those who suffer from seasonal depression often have trouble controlling their negative thoughts throughout the year.
Meditation also teaches you how to relax into a state of awareness so that you can avoid focusing on negative thoughts or feelings that could lead to depression or anxiety.This also helps improve focus and concentration so that you can better manage your time and workloads even if you have SAD.
7. Read good books
Reading is a great way to destress, and it can also help you overcome seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression that occurs during fall or winter months when there are fewer hours of sunlight. It’s estimated that up to 10 percent of Americans suffer from this condition.
If you’re one of those people, reading a good book can be an effective way to get through the winter months. The good thing is that books give you new perspectives on life. When you read, you open yourself up to new ideas and perspectives on life. This applies whether you’re reading nonfiction or fiction — both will expand your mind in different ways. You might find yourself questioning things that had never occurred to you before or looking at them from a different point of view.
It helps us escape from our routines and everyday stresses. When we read, we are transported into another world — whether it’s real or fictional — where nothing else exists except for what we are reading about. This allows us to escape from our routines and everyday stresses for a little while and unwind without having to do anything else but read!
8. Listen to music
Listening to music is a way to overcome seasonal affective disorder or SAD. It is a common problem for people who live in the northern hemisphere during wintertime. The symptoms of SAD include depression, anxiety and a lack of energy.
Music can make you feel better because it can release endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are chemicals that help your body deal with pain, stress and other emotions. Listening to music also helps you relax and forget about all of your problems so you can start feeling happy again.
Listening to music also activates areas of your brain associated with pleasure and reward – which makes it a great way to lift your spirits when you're feeling down. Music also reduces stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety and sadness. In fact, studies have shown that listening to music before bedtime can help you sleep better and improve your mood overall!
9. Seek professional
Seeking professional help just makes sense. If you've been experiencing symptoms of depression for more than two weeks, it's worth discussing with your doctor or therapist. Seeking professional help may also be necessary if your symptoms are severe or getting worse.
Besides, it can give you a sense of control over your life again. You may feel like you're at the mercy of your environment when it comes to seasonal depression — like there's nothing you can do about it — but there are steps you can take to stay healthy while dealing with SAD.
Moreover, this can give you hope that things will get better again someday soon. It's easy to get discouraged when nothing seems to be working and winter feels endless, but with treatment, most people find relief from their seasonal depression within six months or so.
It continues to be a problem that many people suffer from. It is not restricted to the winter months, summer months or fall. It is a problem that you can face at any time of year. The best way to avoid the conditions associated with seasonal affective disorder is to make sure that you are taking all of the necessary steps in order to help battle this disorder.
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