4 Ways to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), commonly referred to as the “winter blues,” impacts mood and temperament during the cold, dark winter months. Even if you don’t suffer from this disorder, you may still experience some of the symptoms, including lower energy, weight gain, and disrupted sleep. Research on circadian rhythms shows that we tend to go to bed later and sleep later in the winter, and it’s important to be aware of the effects of that difference. To combat these symptoms, we want to give you four ways to maximize the daylight we do have and use it to your advantage.
1. Wake Up an Hour Earlier
Even though there are fewer light hours each day in the winter, mornings are still bright! Enjoy the light first thing in the morning by taking your workout outdoors, opening the window while you drink your coffee, or simply taking a step outside before the day begins.
2. Step Outside With Co-Workers
Weather permitting, grab a co-worker and take lunch outside. If it’s too cold to eat outside, walk to a local lunch spot and grab food or go for a quick walk around the block. This breath of fresh air will help energize you and keep you focused for the rest of the day.
3. Develop Winter Hobbies
A new season is the perfect opportunity to start a new hobby! Whether it’s crafting once a week, reading when the sun sets, or doing yoga on Sunday nights, there are still a wide variety of activities to do this time of year. Experiment with different options to find something you enjoy and look forward to.
4. Get Outside on Your Day Off
While it may not always be manageable to get outside during the workweek, spend your day off enjoying the outdoors. Go sightseeing, walk on a trail, or park far away from the store while running errands—anything to get out there and enjoy the daylight!
SAD can make a noticeable impact on your mood, so it’s important to be aware of these signs and symptoms and be proactive in making the most of this time of year. If you feel like your symptoms are out of control, seek medical attention from your physician.