Seasonal Affective Disorder -- also known as SAD -- affects millions of Americans every year. For some, the spring and summer months bring it on; bust most people who suffer from SAD have trouble with fall and winter, when there’s not as much sunlight or greenery. For those who suffer during the colder months, it can be hard to find a way to beat stress or feelings of anxiety, and some people find that they are easily overwhelmed this time of the year. It can even have physical effects, with many individuals suffering from appetite changes, sleep issues, and mood swings.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help reduce those feelings of sadness or depression. Using sleep aids such as a woobie weighted blanket made by Daisy the Blanket Lady, getting as much sunlight as you can, changing your diet, and taking advantage of cold-weather activities are just a few ways that can help alleviate some of the effects of SAD. Talk to your doctor before making any big changes to your lifestyle, especially if you have a prior history of mental health disorders.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to feel better during fall and winter months.
Bring in natural light
When sunlight is scarce, it’s important to soak up as much of it as you can. That means opening the curtains during the day to let in natural light -- this helps boost your mood, and can help keep your utility bills down. Solar energy is hugely beneficial when it comes to the environment, and it can heat the rooms in your home even in the wintertime.
It can also be extremely helpful to go outside as much as possible on sunny days. Take the dog for a walk, take up an outdoor sport, or play ball with the kiddos in the backyard. Anything you do to get extra sunlight can help you feel better, and when you incorporate exercise, you’ll be ensuring your physical and mental health are also taken care of.
Try to stay on your routine
During Daylight Savings Time, many people can become disoriented and get off their regular schedule. It’s important, however, to keep a routine as much as possible in order to maintain your mood and your ability to cope with stress. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day. If you experience insomnia or anxiety, consider using a weighted blanket, such as a woobie blanket handmade by Daisy the Blanket Lady, which can provide comfort and relief. Additionally, be sure to eat your meals on a regular schedule, and exercise every day. This can help you stay motivated and will keep you on track.
Turn to your pets
Pets, particularly dogs and cats, have a calming, stress-relieving effect on most people. In fact, simply petting a dog has been shown in studies to reduce stress, anxiety and even blood pressure, and many people have benefitted from the use of animals in therapy situations. If you have a pet, take comfort in snuggling or petting him, and spend quality time with him. Go for walks, have playtime, and relax with him as much as possible.
Those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder often feel that they are isolated during the months that affect them most, so it’s a good idea to try and be social during this time. Even if it’s only via a social media app, talking to your friends and loved ones can have a positive effect on your mood and your ability to handle stress. Finding ways to cope with SAD can mean the difference between a good season and a bad one.
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