How to Ward Off Seasonal Depression

Updated: Jan 29

Seasonal depression is a more common term for a condition named SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD is a recurring depression that often occurs in the late fall and winter months. Contrary to common belief, you can successfully combat seasonal depression long before you feel its effects.

Try these tips to ward off seasonal depression:

1. Mimic the sun. Purchase sunlamps that mimic the rays of the sun. Light therapy is one of the highest recommended treatments for seasonal depression.

* Sunlamps can cost anywhere from $100 to $250. However, the special sunlamp replacement bulbs can cost as little as $10 for a pack of three.

2. Nurture your social life. Being socially active is an important part of keeping up your spirits during the wintertime.

* Have a weekly dinner with your friends. If the weather is nasty, host a dinner in your home or head over to your friends' house for a nice evening. If the weather allows, head out for a weekly cocktail night with the girls or poker night with the boys.

3. Adapting to the empty nest. If your kids have moved out recently, the effects on your emotions can be more dramatic during the cold, dreary months. Find a way to communicate with your children regularly that still gives them their space.

* Find new hobbies that'll enthral you day in and day out, such as instructing a yoga class or getting involved in a local book club. If possible, involve your partner in your new hobbies.

4. Take a winter vacation. Head to a warm, sandy beach for a fresh perspective. Pack your bags and take a two-week vacation to Florida, Hawaii, or even a cruise in the Bahamas. Just two weeks, or even less if your schedule is rigid, will make a world of a difference in your mood.

* If you're low on funds, consider nixing your summer vacation in favor of a yearly winter vacation. Generally, SAD recurs every winter. Instead of fleeing your home during the warm summer months, think of a winter vacation as your secret weapon against combating seasonal depression.

5. Maintain your appearance. When you look good, you feel good. Make an effort to exercise daily, eat well on a regular basis, and maintain a healthy skincare regimen. Also, wear clothes that flatter your figure, rather than frumpy clothing that makes you look bigger or are clearly way too tight.

In essence, you can effectively combat seasonal depression by being aware of both your behavior and environment. Make a conscious effort to boost your own spirits and refrain from slipping into a rut. Of course, if you fear that you're suffering from SAD, contact a physician to ensure that your condition is safely treated and whether you need medication or not.

With a few small changes, you can survive - and even thrive - through the dreary winter season. Spring is right around the corner and the sunny weather and new perspective you crave can be yours, even before spring gets here.

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