Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that occurs with the change in seasons. Many individuals experience symptoms of SAD during the fall and winter months due to reduced sunlight exposure. Learning how to overcome seasonal depression can help you enjoy life any time of year.
Northpoint Washington offers a depression treatment program. When seasonal depression becomes chronic, and you feel like you can’t escape the rut you’re in, our professionals can help. Our residential treatment programs provide structure and compassion to help you feel your best. Call 425.437.3298 to learn more.
What Is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal depression is a form of depression that affects individuals during specific times of the year. Symptoms can include:
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Low energy levels
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Loss of interest in activities
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Even though many people experience SAD during the fall and winter months, it is possible to experience symptoms during spring or summer as well. The exact cause of SAD is still unknown, but studies suggest that reduced exposure to sunlight can play a role.
How to Overcome Seasonal Depression
While seasonal depression can be challenging, there are steps you can take to alleviate symptoms. Here are some tips:
- Get outside – Exposure to sunlight can boost mood and improve vitamin D levels. Take a walk outside or sit near a window during daylight hours.
- Exercise regularly – Exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day.
- Practice self-care – Engage in activities that bring you joy and reduce stress, such as reading, taking a bath, or practicing mindfulness meditation.
- Connect with others – Social support can alleviate symptoms of depression. Schedule time with friends or family members, join a support group, or volunteer in your community.
- Seek professional help – If your symptoms are severe or impacting your daily life, consider seeking professional help. Therapy and medication can be effective in treating seasonal depression.
Overcoming seasonal depression often starts with you reconnecting with yourself and doing the things you enjoy.
Activities for Overcoming Seasonal Depression
Engaging in specific self-care activities can help alleviate symptoms of seasonal depression. Here are some ideas to try:
- Light therapy – Light therapy involves sitting near a special light box that emits bright light that mimics natural sunlight. This can help regulate mood and improve energy levels.
- Yoga – Yoga has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall well-being. Attend a yoga class or practice at home using online resources.
- Creative expression – Engage in creative activities that bring you joy, such as drawing, painting, or writing. This can help reduce stress and improve mood.
- Aromatherapy – Certain scents, such as lavender or peppermint, can promote relaxation and reduce symptoms of depression. Use essential oils or candles to create a calming atmosphere.
Remember, everyone’s experience with seasonal depression is different. It may take some trial and error to find the activities that work best for you. The most important thing is to take care of yourself and seek help if needed.
When Depression Requires Professional Help
While these tips and activities can be helpful for mild to moderate symptoms of seasonal depression, it’s important to seek professional help if symptoms persist or worsen. Speak with a mental health professional if you experience:
- Self-harming thoughts or behaviors
- Extreme changes in appetite or weight
- Difficulty functioning at work or home
- Substance abuse
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
Seasonal depression can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to alleviate symptoms. Remember to seek professional help if you experience severe symptoms or have concerns about your mental health.
Call Northpoint Washington and Learn to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder
If you or a loved one is struggling with seasonal depression, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Northpoint Washington offers a supportive and compassionate environment for individuals seeking treatment for depression. Our team of professionals can assist you in learning how to overcome seasonal depression and provide evidence-based treatments to improve your mental health. Call 425.437.3298 or contact us online to get started today.