6 Tips To Combat Seasonal Depression
To many people, seasonal depression is just another way of saying holiday blues. It generally involves having low energy, feeling socially withdrawn or even anxious at certain times of the year. It’s a type of depression that can come and go throughout the year, but most commonly happens around late fall to winter.
The medical name for seasonal depression is Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short. It’s a form of depression that is characterized by a recurring seasonal pattern. This means it happens around the same time each year and coincides with specific seasons or events during the year.
Coping with it can be difficult, but we’ve put together a couple of tips to help you feel better throughout the year and combat seasonal depression.
1.) More Natural Light
Seasonal depression often stems from the dark winter months that we experience in Texas. Natural light has many benefits that could help us keep our seasonal depression at bay, so it’s important to wake up early in the morning, get out for a few hours a day and try to avoid the darker hours when possible.
Light therapy is a documented and proven way to help treat seasonal affective disorder by exposing a patient to artificial light. You could contact a specialist that offers this service or you could try and get the same treatment at home. However, we suggest speaking to your physician before doing any of this to ensure that it can help–even if just a bit.
2.) Stay Warm
Staying warm is an important consideration when it comes to seasonal depression because cold weather snaps have been linked to fatal opioid overdoses. Research has shown that there’s a 25% increase in fatal opioid overdoses after periods of freezing temperatures. Other studies have shown that reduced sunshine and cold weather are linked to excessive alcohol consumption or drug abuse.
Stay warm by staying indoors whenever the sun is low. Turn on the central heating when necessary and consider wrapping up in an extra blanket when you go to bed to stay warm. If you’re going outside, make sure you wear extra layers until you’re more comfortable with the temperatures.
3.) Watch Your Cravings
Whether it was a past addiction to alcohol or cutting out sugar from your diet, watch your cravings around certain seasons to keep your mood positive. For instance, winter might be a time for celebration and letting yourself go when it comes to alcohol and food, but it’s not worth breaking your sobriety or ruining your health with unhealthy foods like sweets.
Because there’s always something to celebrate throughout each season, we recommend that you watch your intake of alcohol and unhealthy foods. We also suggest that you avoid bad habits and addictions you’ve had in the past, such as smoking or even drug abuse. Whenever there’s a cause for celebration, we tend to do things due to peer pressure from friends, family members or even colleagues at work. Avoid these cravings by keeping a close eye on them and you could take a big step against combating seasonal depression.
4.) Start Exercising to Beat Your Seasonal Depression
Exercise can be considered power natural remedy for depression. Researchers have found that exercise can be just as effective as drugs in many cases. This could cut out the need for prescription drugs, help someone stay active and healthy, and also help them cope with their seasonal depression.
By working out, you’re also improving your overall body condition which leads to a healthier and happier you. These factors can make a huge difference in your overall mood to help you combat your seasonal depression.
5. Participate in Festivities With Friends, Family or Even Strangers
The people you spend time with can have a huge influence on what you do during different seasons. If you spend a lot of time with people that have difficulty controlling their addictions, then the chances of relapsing into drug or alcohol abuse are very high. Whether it’s being offered a glass of wine or a small cigarette, these actions can seem innocent but could cause you to relapse into an addiction.
To avoid this, we suggest spending more time with people that make you smile. The more understanding they are of your situation, the more likely you’ll be able to deal with seasonal depression as it comes around. The idea is to give yourself enough distraction so that you’re not reminded of your bad habits and slowly work your way out of that way of life.
Dealing with seasonal depression is difficult since it can come and go in just a few days. However, if you pay enough attention to what triggers your seasonal depression and try to avoid it as best as possible, you’ll find that it’s possible to keep a genuine smile throughout these seasonal depression episodes.
If you’d like to learn more information about your depression or if you want to learn about the effects of psychology that could help you, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Kelli Wright in Houston. As a specialist in anxiety therapy and treatment for drug users, the Wellness Collaborative can help you cope with the effects of seasonal depression and provide you with the right knowledge to help you overcome it.