3 Ways to Beat SAD

Article posted in: Lifestyle

You might be familiar with the post-holiday blues and chalk them up to a hangover from the festivities, or a lack of sunlight as the northern hemisphere enters its darkest period of the year. But recent research has shown that the 3 million Americans prone to depression caused by a change of seasons—commonly called season affective disorder (aptly abbreviated SAD)—start to feel its effects as early as September. And, as the days grow shorter and sunlight wanes; the farther you live from the equator, the more susceptible you may be. SAD can be a diet-killer because depression and overeating are commonly linked. Here are some tips for identifying and treating SAD so that it doesn’t derail your diet.

Move toward the light box: Phototherapy, or treatment with light, is often prescribed for those with SAD. Light therapy requires patients to sit a few feet from a special box to expose you to bright light that mimics outdoor light. It has few side effects and seems to work quickly.

Get outside: There’s a reason people in northern climes don’t let winter keep them in the house. Even on cloudy or cold days, natural outdoor light, however dim, can improve your mood. So bundle up and take a walk or brave the park to enjoy your coffee.

Exercise: Regular exercise and activity have been proven to ease depression and anxiety, both of which can amplify SAD symptoms. Plus, going mobile can make you feel better about yourself, which can help fend off SAD symptoms.

*Speak to your doctor if you believe you are experiencing season affective disorder.