If you feel down and blue in the winter, it's time to explore whether you might need ways to deal with seasonal affective disorder. How do you know if you have it or not?
Do you long for summer evenings? Do you sleep more, eat more and get irritable (especially around loved ones) when the weather turns cold? Do you lose interest in your favorite activities during the fall and winter? Are you sluggish or having trouble sleeping? Do you feel depressed and hopeless?
If these feelings last, it could be Seasonal Affective Disorder (also know as Seasonal Anxiety Disorder), or SAD. The condition is a mild to severe form of seasonal depression. Every year, up to 20% of Americans suffer from it.
You might have gotten a diagnosis, but that doesn't mean you are doomed to a season of feeling depressed. In addition to following your doctor's treatment plan, try these easy ways to deal with SAD on your own.
1. Buy a Light Box
Light therapy provides bright rays to elevate the brain's serotonin. This is one of the most commonly recommended ways to deal with seasonal affective disorder.
Exercise has been found to be as good as an anti-depressant for many people with SAD.
3. Write Poetry or Journal
Putting your thoughts on paper can help you stay calm and release some of your emotions.
4. Paint Your Nails and do Your Makeup
Make whoever he is do a double glance! Or, just get fancy for yourself.
5. Clip Coupons and Go Shopping
Challenge yourself to see how much money you can save! A little retail therapy never hurt anyone!
6. Clean Your House
Then, throw a neat party and revel in a great sense of accomplishment.
7. Read a Book
This is especially good if you cannot sleep and is a great way to distract yourself from the emotions you're feeling.
8. Go Online
There are people there at all times of day! Connect with friends on Facebook or Instagram, or join an online SAD support group.
9. Do Crafts
Go to Dollar Tree, stock up on craft supplies and create to your heart's content. Then sell your crafts to buy yourself or a loved one something nice.
10. Cook or Bake a New Recipe
Whip out that crockpot and make a comfort dish. Or whip up a batch of your favorite cookies.
11. Color Coordinate Your Wardrobe
Can't afford new clothes? Mix and match what you already have. What fun!
12. Make a CD of Your Favorite Songs or Listen to the Radio
Make it happy music and add a little dancing to boost your mood and burn some calories.
13. Perform a Random Act of Kindness
Send coupons to the Overseas Coupon Program for our military (ocpnet.org). Or buy a coffee for the person in line behind you. Doing good always makes you feel good.
14. Contact a Long Lost Friend
Socializing is a good way to take the focus off your SAD and find something about the cold weather to look forward to.
15. Hug Someone
Remember, hugs not drugs! You really do not want to become dependent upon drugs.
16. Learn New Jokes and Share Them with Your Family and Friends
Laughter is healthy!
Now you are prepared for battle! Give SAD a good kick in the butt.