Will I Develop Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Stop the Season Cycle in its Tracks 

It’s that time of year again—the temperatures are cooler, days are increasingly shorter, and we know that winter is just around the corner. For many of us, this means we may notice a change in our mood, our activity level and a feeling of stress and anxiety. If you have these symptoms, you may be dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also called seasonal depression. It is caused by a reduction in sunlight and fresh air due to more time spent indoors. This can cause a shift in hormones, which leads to the disorder. 

Individuals who have a history of depression and anxiety in general can be more susceptible to SAD,” said Manny Perry MSW LSW, Outpatient Therapist/Social Worker, Acenda“Not everyone develops it, although it is quite common.  For those that do, there are ways to prevent or reduce the symptoms that go along with the disorder.  Developing a plan as the colder season begins to identify activities to stay busy and alleviate some of the symptoms of SAD is beneficial.” 

Here are 5 tips to help ward off SAD:  

  1. Bring some of the beach to you! Use some summery decorations like shells or sand trays to bring a little of the beach home. Playing some summery sounds can also help, such as waves crashing, birds chirping, and the Beach Boys. 
  2. Stay active. Take a walk or jog daily or exercise at home. 
  3. Vitamin D is important. You can get this through sunlight or as a supplement.   
  4. Take on a hobby. Anything you can do to keep your mind off of the cold and gloomy weather can help.  Knitting, cooking, puzzles and crafts are all excellent activities to stay busy. 
  5. Use a light box. Light therapy as an SAD treatment are designed provide artificial light that replicates sunlight.  It’s important to speak with your doctor before purchasing a light box as there are various options. 
girl laughing in the sun seasonal affective disorder

Since Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression, it’s best diagnosed and treated by talking with a mental health professional. Clinicians at our Counseling & Wellness Centers are here to help! Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information about our counseling and telehealth services.