Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) affects a surprising number of Pacific Northwest residents. After an abbreviated summer, and faced with endless rainy months, it can become difficult to maintain the same joie de vivre that was so abundant in summer. Signs of SAD include daily depression, loss of interest in once enjoyable activities, low energy, sleep issues, hopelessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. SAD is just as serious a mental health issue as clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or anxiety and panic disorders. It’s crucial that if you are experiencing SAD that you make your mental health a priority, whether that means visits to a counselor or therapist, medication or other types of intervention. In the meantime, try these simple methods for improving your mood and deflecting symptoms of SAD.
Improve Your Lighting
SAD causes our bodies to crave more sunlight, but sitting next to an artificial light (aka a lightbox) for 30 minutes a day has been shown to be as effective at treating SAD as prescription antidepressants.
The holiday season brings with it our most unhealthy meals of the whole year, often for even the most secular among us. Fight the devastating effects of December’s sugary, salty, fatty meals snacks and desserts by integrating whole foods into your diet. Starting your day with a green smoothie or juice is a great way to start.
Easy for us to say, right? It’s a little trickier to get 30 minutes of daily activity when it’s pouring rain, we get it. But, honestly, what’s stopping you from putting on your favorite good-vibes playlist and dancing like Beyonce during the Super Bowl halftime show? Probably nothing, so go for it!