January is a tough month for many folks. The holidays are over, family gatherings have passed, and it is all about surviving the cold, dark, and grey days. So, what is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that is related to the changing seasons. And SAD is not just for the winter months. You can also experience SAD in the summer months.
Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder
Light Therapy – With light therapy, the typical recommendation is to use a 10,000-lux light box at a distance of about 16 to 24 inches from your face for 20 to 30 minutes per day. It does take 3-4 days to alleviate symptoms. (Lightboxes range in price from $19.99-$49.99)
Nutrient-dense foods and vitamin D supplements can also help treat SAD. Consuming foods rich in vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, soy, milk, and spinach can also help treat SAD.
Exercise during the daylight hours can also improve mood, get rid of sluggishness and promote feelings of well-being. Walk for 30 minutes on your lunch break or get outside to hike during the day.
Practicing deep breathing exercises three times per day can also enhance feelings of well-being. Start by finding a comfortable position, inhale to the count of 4 and then slowly exhale. Do this a few times and notice the feelings of relaxation and calm that you can create any time of day and anywhere.
If your symptoms feel out of control or impact your daily living, reach out to a medical professional and/or for counseling. There are anti-depressants that can help treat the symptoms of SAD.
Written By Carrie Company