Tag Archive for: winter

Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Depression is Common

Darkness Approaching… How to Manage Seasonal Depression (SAD)

Seasonal Depression, also referred to as seasonal affective disorder or SAD, is approaching us with the start of fall! 

Do you notice you are sadder in the winter months? 

Do you experience more social withdrawal, irritability, or less enjoyment in winter? 

If so, is this a pattern in your life? 

The American Psychiatric Association explains the relation to a biochemical imbalance in the brain caused by fewer hours of daylight and less sunlight. It’s not you. It’s winter! 

What can you do?

  1. Find ways to connect with friends and family! 
    • Connection fights depression! 
  2. Schedule time to get as much sunlight as possible. 
    • Consider waking up earlier or taking breaks to get outside when the sun is shining! 
  3. Exercise 
    • Endorphins make us happy! Whether that’s hitting the gym, walking/running outside, or yoga in your living room. Exercise is very helpful! Research tells us the benefit includes: improving your brain health, helping manage weight, reducing the risk of disease, strengthening bones and muscles, and improving your ability to do everyday activities.
  4. Check-in with your diet 
    • Are you eating balanced meals? According to the CDC, “People with healthy eating patterns live longer and are at lower risk for serious health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. For people with chronic diseases, healthy eating can help manage these conditions and prevent complications.” 
  5. Check your Vitamin D levels with a doctor’s visit! 
    • Requesting a blood work panel could indicate you may have a vitamin D deficiency impacting your mood. 

Finally, consider talking with a therapist to help manage your symptoms and decrease the inner darkness. 

This blog was written by Meredith Edelen, MFT Associate, CSW. As a welcoming, empathic, curious and strengths-focused psychotherapist, Meredith believes everyone needs a collaborative and safe space. To learn more about Meredith or schedule an appointment with her, click here.