Getting Rid of SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder and how to deal with it.
I love the summer. I love the hot weather, I love the smell of freshly cut grass and the smell of sunscreen, those are the small things that I love about it. The thing that I love most is how I feel during the summer months; I feel happy and ready to go anywhere and do anything as long as it is outside and I am enjoying the warm weather. Then winter comes. The snow covers the trees and grass is no longer visible. It gets cold and warming up by the fire with a mug filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Christmas comes and everyone strings there houses with lights that fill me with joy. However, most days I do not feel like going anywhere or doing anything. I just want to curl up in a blanket and not see anyone for weeks or just read my book, play a video game and be left alone. This is what is called seasonal affective disorder, you only feel down during the winter days. However, some of you may wonder what is seasonal affective disorder? well, let me summarize it. "It is a type of depression that is related to the seasons". It happens mostly because of the lack of vitamin D that a person is taking in. For people who love skiing and doing snow sports, it does not happen very often because they are outside getting that vitamin D and enjoying a fun activity. Since the city I live in is known for the sunny weather many people are diagnosed with the seasonal depression. However, the seasonal depression can also take place during summer, but that happens in very rare cases.
There are some things that you can do to prevent the SAD from taking over and if you are anything like me and hate going outside when it's winter, here are a few things you could do:
1. Light therapy are one of the best things to do, you can get a little light that shines on you and it is usually super bright, but the science behind it suggests that it mimics the natural light, which then affects the brain chemicals and it puts you in a much better mood. It is one of the safer treatments out there and has minimal to no side effects. It also helps those with regular depression not just SAD. Eyestrain is one of the side effects from the light therapy. You can get one of these lights from amazon:
2. Exercise indoors. You do not have to be outside to get exercise, you can do it by going to the gym or go swimming. Exercise helps balance your brain chemicals too, it can kick up some adrenaline and gives you energy that you are lacking in the summer months.
3. Careful what you eat. I am a big foodie, I like my snacks and my candy, but during the winter I try to cut down the sweets and the desserts. It is proven that eating too many sweets can actually increase anxiety and if you eat when you are feeling down, eat healthier foods like carrots or celery or simply foods with less of a calorie intake.
4. Antidepressants are a way to decrease the sadness, I personally do not think this is the best methods because many medications have heavier side effects. If your depression is more heavy than talk to a doctor about antidepressant medications before taking them. Also, I am pretty sure you need a prescription to take them anyway. This is one of the best methods to get rid of depression, but it can lead to overdoses and addiction, which is partially why I am not too keen on them.
5. An alternative to taking medications, is to take vitamin D supplements. SAD is caused by lack of vitamin D, so the solution is to take the supplement. It does not have any side effects. However, according to web MD it is not a very effective way of treating SAD. It could be because the intake is not high enough to actually help.
6. The sun is probably best way to get that Vitamin B, so you can go outside for short periods of time or even sitting by a window can help you too. So if you insist on staying in and reading then sit by a window to get the rays of sunlight.