March is typically the snowiest month in Colorado, and after months of grey winter, many folks begin to suffer symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). There are ways to help with feeling the Winter Blues you can do at home and on your own.
Shake it Off
As with other forms of mental illness, exercise can help with seasonal affective disorder. Outdoor exercise will be most helpful, as it will also increase Vitamin D levels. However, any exercise will be beneficial for treating SAD. Yoga and other meditative exercises are wonderful for centering oneself and living a mindful life.
Getting outside as much as possible is one of the best ways to help deal with SAD. Even if the cold weather is a problem, bundle up and walk around the block in the afternoon when it is typically warmest, and the sun is brightest. Allowing as much natural light into your home and office by keeping blinds and curtains opens will also help nip the blues in the bud.
Artificial lighting can work as a mild substitute to those suffering with SAD. Keeping as many lamps and lights on as possible is a sure-way to help alleviate symptoms and have you feeling better.
Support from Loved Ones
Spending time with your friends and family during the dark winter months can have a very nurturing effect on those who experience SAD symptoms. Support from our inner circle can help us feel less isolated, and lead to more social time, which is proved to improve overall mental health.
Being interested in an activity is good for an overall sense of wellbeing. Having a hobby, whether artistic or athletic, offers a great outlet for you to express your feelings in a safe and honest way. Often, spending time participating in a group activity can help you feel better, and even distract you from symptoms associated with SAD.
Extra Tip: Talk With Your Doctor
If you’re feeling more intense symptoms of depression, speak to a doctor or other mental health professional to discuss other forms of treatment. Therapy is a great way to work through some of the difficulties brought on by SAD.
For more information on groups we offer, please visit: www.mhcd.org/healthyliving