Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects many people, and now is the time of year where it may be at its worst. The holidays are supposed to be a happy time of year, but when you’re struggling with SAD, it may be difficult to enjoy them. In part one of this series, we discussed how to recognize the symptoms of SAD and one of the most common ways to cope. As we continue with part two of this series, we will provide you with even more ways to cope with seasonal depression so that you can enjoy the holidays and time spent with your loved ones.
Counseling and therapy are some of the most effective ways of helping someone with a mental illness. At Long Island Counseling, we proudly offer a variety of counseling services, from individual counseling to couple’s counseling. Lisa Lempel-Sander is a licensed psychoanalyst, and she can provide you with the services you need to live a happier, more fulfilling life. Explore her website to learn more, and give her a call to request an appointment!
Maintain Your Routine
When you’re feeling bogged down and depressed, you may feel like you don’t have enough energy for your daily tasks. It may be tempting to stay at home and sleep or watch TV, but it’s important to do your best to maintain your normal routine. It may be difficult to try and keep up with all of your activities, but if you skip out on friends or weekly meetings, then there is a good chance that you will end up feeling worse than you did before.
It’s no secret that exercise has been proven to boost your mood and make you feel good about yourself, and it can work for SAD too! While exercising outside would be the most beneficial, it’s not always possible with the weather. If you can’t work out outside, then try to go to the gym and use equipment near a window. As you exercise, your brain will release serotonin, which will make you feel better and eliminate stress. This can combat some of the low feelings you may experience with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it can also help you get in shape!
Excessive stress can lead to a lot of negative feelings in your body, and it can make feeling of SAD even worse. During this time of year, stress is normal, especially if you are trying to keep up with holiday parties, family, and end-of-the-year crunches at work.
When you feel stressed, it can lead to excessive eating, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, and more. As you can imagine, these side-effects coupled with the side-effects of SAD can leave you feeling pretty lousy. In cases such as these, it’s best to do what you can to avoid stress, such as taking time for yourself to relax, exercising, or reading a great book!
Find a Winter Hobby
One reason people may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder is because the winter weather makes it difficult for them to do the things they love. If you are someone who loves to spend most of their time outdoors when it’s warm, then you may be feeling like you’re trapped inside while you wait for the world around you to melt. Instead of thinking about all of the things that you could be doing, consider taking up a new hobby that is perfect for winter! Those who like to exercise outside during the warmer months may decide to take up snowboarding or skiing to help them get the same boost of endorphins. If you are someone who enjoys hiking during the summer, consider strapping on a pair of snowshoes and seeing how the snow and ice have transformed your favorite spots.
Plan a Vacation
If the dark, gloomy weather has got you feeling down, then think about using it as an excuse to take a vacation to somewhere warm and sunny! Sunlight can be one of the best fixes for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and there’s no better way to get some sun than by laying on a beach in a warm climate. Perhaps you decide to spend Christmas on a tropical island with your family, or maybe you want to go in February once the stress of the holidays has subsided. Not only will this help the winter pass more quickly, but it can also help you relax and eliminate some of the negative emotions that you may be feeling.
Contact Long Island Counseling!
At Long Island Counseling, we are here to help you in any way that we can. If you’re struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and you are looking for support, then we can give you the assistance you need. Explore our website to learn more about the individual counseling services we have to offer, and give us a call to schedule an appointment!