Here are 7 effective tips from Clarity Clinic to manage your Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD and take control of your well-being.
1. Illuminate your interior decor
Dr. Rosenthal has treated over 1,000 SAD patients up to now and says that all forms of light and brightness could help fight off winter blues. He recommends bringing in more lamps into the room and concentrating light in one room to cut your energy bills. LED lights are brighter than conventional bulbs and provide a more natural spectrum of light. They also use 90% less energy.
On the other hand, white walls and brightly colored cushions help deliver subtler mood-boosting effects.
2. Consider a lightbox
Light therapy is effective in curing a winter funk. In fact, Dr. Rosenthal says that the amount of light one needs to treat winter blues is more than what you get on a winter’s day. Lightboxes emit wavelengths of light similar to natural light. Dr. Rosenthal recommends lightbox models that are at least 30x60cm and are tried and tested. In fact, white lightboxes and better than the newer blue light versions in this regard. Half an hour in the morning is recommended as an initial dose.
3. Spend time with others
Social interactions are highly effective treatments for all forms of depression. They lower blood pressure and stress hormones. You can meet a friend or relative for a socially distanced walk. But don’t forget to wrap up warm before you go out in the winter.
Even though you may not be able to see your loved ones in person, you can still connect with most of them by calling or writing them a letter. Get together with your family and friends for a fun video call. These helpful tips will help you address the feelings of loneliness or depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volunteering is another beneficial act for better mental health. If you don’t have them in your area, research volunteering opportunities available in nearby towns or cities. It’s a great way to connect with others and give back at the same time.
4. Keep fit and stay active
Exercises have mood-lifting effects when you are looking at beating winter blues. They are as good as taking antidepressant medications. Dr. Shanthi Mogali of Mountainside Treatment Center in Connecticut, USA is a SAD expert. She says that feelings of low self-esteem and unhappiness can arise when you are more sedentary. You should look for ways to stay active, and exercises help release natural endorphins to lift your mood.
5. Take care with carbs and sugar
The brain is considered a glucose-hungry organ. In fact, people with winter blues find themselves reaching for the biscuit tin more often. But when you eat too many carbs, a slump will soon follow. Dr. Rosenthal says that the burst of energy you receive from carbs doesn’t last long. It will also lead to gaining weight that’s hard to lose over time.
You should be eating lots of oily fish and taking extra vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) to improve your mood.
6. Get outside
When the temperature drops, going outside is at the bottom of your priority list. But a few things beat natural light even on a cloudy day. Exposing yourself to natural light is key during the winter months. You can get outside during the lunch break – even if it’s just a walk around the block.
7. Do some early spring cleaning
The back of your eyes has light-sensitive cells that are connected to the body’s internal clock. The body clock gets disrupted in winter. This contributes to winter blues or SAD. That is why you need to clean the windows and trim the hedges to maximize the amount of natural light that comes into your home. In fact, dirty window glass stops at least 20% of the energizing natural light that would otherwise enter your room.
The aforementioned article provides information on 7 effective tips to manage your Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD and take control of your well-being.
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