Seasonal Affective Disorder, also commonly known as “SAD” is a lot more common than most people realise. It’s often associated with an increase in depressive symptoms during the winter months of the year, when the days are shorter and there tends to be less sunlight around.
While some people only feel a mild version of this disorder, others may have much more severe symptoms that can develop into clinical depression if not managed properly.
Here we will look at how to successfully manage Seasonal Affective Disorder
1. Getting Enough Vitamin D
One of the main causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder is a distinct lack of Vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D is a vital compound that’s necessary for a number of functions throughout the body, including the synthesis of specific chemicals as well as a fully-functional immune system. Vitamin D deficiencies are extremely common around the world, and they can become dangerous if left too long.
During the colder months of the year, most countries will receive less sunlight over the course of the day, meaning that their bodies battle to produce more Vitamin D. One way to avoid this is by getting enough Vitamin D, and if there isn’t sunlight around, the next best option is supplementation.
Exercise is strongly associated with a decrease in the more severe symptoms of depression, so it’s important that anyone suffering try and get enough exercise on a regular basis. While recommendations vary greatly depending on the person and their overall lifestyle, recent studies have shown that we should try and get around 10 minutes of exercise for every hour that we spend sitting.
This isn’t possible for everyone but getting moderate exercise at least three times a week is a great place to start and can help the brain regulate any chemical imbalances that are occurring.
3. Correct Diet
Depression can quickly turn into an unhealthy cycle, especially for those that turn to food for comfort. We eat because we’re suffering from depression but eating too much unhealthy food can exacerbate the depression, creating a vicious cycle that only gets worse for as long as we let it.
During the months when our mental health starts to decline, it’s vital to try and eat as much healthy food as possible. This should be done with a specific focus on whole, plant-based foods, with a wide selection of fruit and vegetables. While there’s nothing wrong with eating meat, it should be done so much more moderately.
4. Seek Support
Having a support system in place when things get tough is one of the best ways of getting through, even if it just means having someone to talk to over online betting NZ. Friends and family are always there to help, and a person that’s suffering should never be afraid to turn to their loved ones for emotional support.
Creating a circle of trust with those that we love is a great way of dealing with the worst of Seasonal Affective Disorder.