Autumnal Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder: it’s one of the most persistent struggles that can effect up to 30% of the American population, a majority of which are women. With autumn now upon us, here in South Florida, the weather stays warm, and the leaves don’t change, but even with us being so close to the equator, daylight has been dwindling since June 21, and shall continue to do so until just before Christmas. That’s why it’s important for you to learn ways of coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder in order to fight those naturally occurring autumnal blues.
How do I know if I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Some of the primary symptoms include a low mood, a loss in motivation and interest in everyday activities, and increased irritability. Often, you might find you struggle with guilt or worthlessness. You may also notice you feel lethargic and sleepy and are sleeping for longer periods of time. If it’s hard to get up in the morning, and some of these other above symptoms describe you, you may be struggling with SAD. Below you’ll find some suggestions on how to combat Seasonal Depression. We suggest getting a head start on dealing with SAD, because the sooner you recognize it, the sooner you can help combat it.
What can I do to cope and overcome SAD?
There are a number of ways you can combat SAD. Below are just some suggestions:
You should consider yourself truly blessed to live in the great state of Florida. That’s because it affords you with a variety of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the natural environment around you. Take a walk, find a bench, bring your coffee, and enjoy the beauty of the world around you. You might even take advantage of the seasons and do something with your family. Maybe take a trip with your family up north for a weekend to go apple picking or look at the autumn leaves. Whatever you can do to get outside, soaking up some sun can help tremendously when combating SAD.
Increase the amount of natural light in your home and workplace by opening blinds and drapes and sitting near windows. You might even install or buy daylight lights, such as Ott Lights. I have one and I use it before dusk so that I don’t even notice it getting dark. You might even get some daylight lights and set them on a timer so that they keep the house bright for a few extended hours. This can work wonders for you!
If you struggle with seasonal depression, rhythmic exercise, such as walking, weight training, swimming, dancing, or martial arts – something that involves you moving your arms and legs, can really help do the trick. If you think about it makes sense: you can combat the feeling of lethargy with activity; you can break out of your funk by moving about and working towards a goal. There are a number of other ways of identifying if you’re struggling with SAD and how to best overcome it. Our trained therapists are here to help guide you in your struggles. Now is the time to take action! Don’t wait until you’re too deep into it to make the change. If you recognize yourself in some of these symptoms of seasonal despression, before the days get too short, come on in and let us help you.