Everyone has experienced seasonal depression at one time or another.
Seasonal depression can be brought on by a number of things including, chemical imbalance, life stressors, and even the weather.The number of diagnosed seasonal depression cases spike during the cooler, winter months. During the winter months, we tend to stay indoors to avoid the cold weather.
Even when we are outdoors, the sun is out less than it is during the warmer seasons. A lot of people report that their seasonal depression is more severe during the cooler months and dissipates in the spring and summer.
There are still people that experience seasonal depression well after the seasons switch over. If you’re one of those people who find that your seasonal depression doesn’t lift despite the sun shining:
there are a few things that you can do in order to feel better.
Get Vitamin D Everyday
Have you ever noticed that after a day spent outside, you feel rejuvenated? This could have a lot to do with the sun, which is a source of Vitamin D. We need Vitamin D. Research shows that people who are depressed have a lower level of Vitamin D in their blood. Of course, the sun doesn’t shine every day, nor are we always able to spend time outdoors with our busy work schedules.
Make it a point that if the sun is shining, to at least spend 30 minutes outdoors at some point during the day, even if it’s at lunch time. A number of foods also have vitamin D, including salmon, yogurt, eggs, mushrooms, and milk.
There are a number of light boxes on the market (example: The Happy Lamp). They’re nothing overwhelmingly complicated, they simply subject us to the right kind of light for a specified duration when we sleep. Most people use it as a way to wake up as you can set them on a timer.
Studies have shown that people who used light therapy showed a decrease in their depression severity. Keep in mind that watching television or using your smart phone is NOT a form of light therapy.
In fact, the fluorescent lighting from your computer, smart phone, or television can affect your body negatively. Light boxes let off the good kind of light.
Talk about it
Seasonal depression is a bit of a sticky topic. Not everyone wants to share their feelings, especially when they don’t feel so good.
It’s important to share your thoughts. Having those thoughts go round and round is not helpful. Similar to how you take out the garbage when it’s full, you should also empty your mind of the clutter. Whether you choose to talk to a family member, friend, or therapist, just make sure that you’re talking to someone.
Another, helpful tool for seasonal depression is journaling. Some people find it a positive experience to get those thoughts out on paper, especially if there isn’t anyone to talk to right then. It can help clear your mind so that you can later focus on a solution.
Practice Yoga and Pilates
Yoga and Pilates aren’t for everyone. However, you shouldn’t knock it until you try it. If you are someone who enjoys being active and doing exercise then Yoga just may be something that you enjoy. Check with your doctor first before starting any exercise routine.
Meditation focuses on clearing the mind, finding a state of peace, and relaxing in it. If you’ve had racing thoughts or have been overwhelmed with stress, surely you’ve wished that you could just clear your mind.
Meditation is a wonderful way to do it. If you’ve never meditated before, there are quite a few guided meditation recordings that you can get on iTunes for free.
Talk with your doctor
Sometimes seasonal depression is due to a chemical imbalance. Just like diabetics take insulin to balance out their sugar levels, the same can go for mental illness. If the brain’s chemicals are off, you may need to take a supplement or antidepressant to help balance out the chemicals.
There’s no shame in asking for help. It’s a sign of strength to recognize that there is a problem and to take the proper steps to fix it.
Discuss your symptoms and medical history with your medical professional. They can advise you about the best course of treatment for you.