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Seasonal Depression and How to Combat the Symptoms

Published: February 26, 2018

Seasonal Depression and

How to Combat the Symptoms

Do you ever suffer from “the blues” when the seasons change or notice that your mood is much gloomier when the weather is dreary?  You could suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder – also known as SAD.

SAD is a disorder that affects many people, normally beginning in the late fall or early winter.  It usually occurs the same time every year and can make you feel moody, tired all the time and have very little energy or interest in doing anything.  The weather can play many factors in our lives, everything from how you dress to what activities you do. 

How can you tell if you are suffering from SAD? 

  • Are you depressed every day for most of the day?
  • Have you lost all interest in activities you normally would get involved in?
  • Has your appetite or weight changed?
  • Do you have problems sleeping even though you feel tired all the time?
  • Is concentrating on a task or project difficult?
  • Do you feel hopeless or worthless and have thoughts of hurting yourself?

If you have one or more of these symptoms then it is advised to speak with a healthcare professional to confirm if you are suffering from SAD.  They may recommend a few courses of treatment such as light therapy, medication or psychotherapy.

There are also a few natural methods that can be used to help improve your mood.  It’s important that you consult your physician if choosing to try alternative methods so they are aware and in case there are any conflicts with your treatment plan. 

Alternative Treatment can include the following;

  • Start taking a Vitamin D supplement.
  • Exercise.  Even though this may be a challenge since your energy levels are low, something as simple as committing to walking on a treadmill for even 15 minutes a day will help.
  • Ensure that you are eating a healthy diet that is full of vegetables, protein and fruits and try and avoid high-fat foods and heavy carbs and sweets.
  • Get outside as much as possible when you are able.  Of course, this all depends on the weather, but take advantage of those nice days we sometimes get during the winter.
  • Avoid alcohol.  Alcohol is a known depressant and can possibly enhance the symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Essential Oils have also become very popular and offer a wide variety of mood-boosting blends that can be used.
  • Laugh!!!!  Bring out your favourite comedy movie and let the laughter flow.  Many studies show that laughing stimulates endorphins in our body and endorphins created in your body make you feel better.

Know that you aren’t alone if you are suffering from SAD.  Many people from all walks of life deal with mental health challenges, and thankfully, there are plenty of different treatments available.

**If you’re having thoughts of harming yourself in any way, please call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-866-531-2600 immediately. 

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