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Seasonal sadness remedies


The changing of the seasons can bring on more than just a shift in weather – the seasons can also affect our mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a specific type of depression brought on by these seasonal transitions. The most common type of SAD occurs in the winter and can result in a variety of symptoms including tiredness or fatigue, loss of interest in social activities, low energy, weight gain or changes in appetite, changes in concentration or even feeling like your body is physically heavier and hard to move. There are some natural ways to combat SAD, and recognizing the signs and being proactive about getting help is a huge first step. Here are some remedies for seasonal sadness:  

Get some sun – Don’t let the daylight dwindle without getting outside to soak up the few rays you can. It gets dark early, so make time to go outside during peak sunshine hours, around noon, and take a quick walk to wake up your senses. Even if it’s cold, throw on your winter clothing and get outside, even if it’s just for a little bit.  

Vitamin D – While you’ll get some vitamin D from the sun, it might not be enough during these darker winter months. You may want to consider adding a supplement. Vitamin D is vital for lots of things including how your body processes calcium and maintains bone structure. When your natural functions are out of sync, it can make you feel tired or run down. 

Exercise – Working out is a great way to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder. Hit the gym and stay inside during the cold months or try some at-home workouts if you don’t have a membership. Working out causes your body to release endorphins, which help make you happy!  

Quiet time – Take some time for yourself. Relax and focus on the positive. Some find it helpful to unplug for a little bit and stay away from social media and electronic devices. Try doing something you find calming to recharge your mind and spirit.   

Keep an eye on your diet – When we’re sad, it’s tempting to indulge in foods that are comforting, but don’t have a lot of nutritional value. That’s exactly the opposite of what your body needs! Make nutritious meals that will feed your body and your mood. 

Be social – It can be hard, but try to put yourself out there and be around other people. Have fun and enjoy a night out. Or, if it’s too cold, offer to host a night in with board games or movies. Ask friends and family if you can come hang out for a little bit. It can help to just be around others and share some laughter.  

Consult your doctor – If you’re feeling depressed and nothing is working to lift you from the fog, it’s time to consult your doctor. Sometimes we need some extra guidance on how to best care for our mind, body and spirit. That’s what doctors are there for! 

Light therapy – Your doctor may want you to try light therapy, where special lights simulate sun exposure or can even give the effect of dawn breaking right in your bedroom. These devices can be very helpful, but should be used in consultation with your healthcare provider.   

It’s natural to feel the shift of seasons and being a little out of sorts could be part of that transition. Seasonal Affective Disorder doesn’t only present itself in the winter, but it’s the most common time to feel the effects due to the drastic change in temperature and reduced amount of daylight. Be proactive about your health and take steps to make yourself feel better. If none of these remedies work, schedule an appointment with your doctor for guidance.