How to ease seasonal depression

What is SAD? -
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a tendency to become depressed during a specific time of the year, usually during fall and winter.

What are the symptoms? -
Physical symptoms include difficulty waking up on schedule, fatigue, craving carbohydrates, and weight gain. 

Is SAD common? -
About 4 to 6% of people in the US suffer from SAD. And as many as 20% may have a mild form of it.

Talk with your doctor -
If you notice a significant drop in how you feel and perceive the world during the cold, then seeing a professional can help you work through it.

Get your mind ready -
Just like you prepare your home, you must also prepare your mind to deal with the colder seasons.

Stick to a sleeping schedule - People with SAD often have difficulty sleeping at night and getting up in the morning.

Search for the sun -
If you have SAD, you'll want to get outside as much as possible during the day to catch some sunlight.

Use dawn simulators -
Dawn simulators are alarm clocks, but rather than waking you abruptly, they produce light that gradually increases in intensity, just like the sun.

Prioritize social activities -
There's a link between social isolation and depression. So try treating SAD by filling your winter months with enjoyable and social activities.

Consider aromatherapy -
The use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes may also help those with SAD. 

Consider taking antidepressants - Prescription antidepressants may help you overcome seasonal depression

Get enough vitamin D -
Vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for depressive symptoms. 

Go on vacation -
Going on a winter vacation to warmer climates can help alleviate SAD symptoms. 

Consider avoiding alcohol -
Consider limiting your alcohol intake, especially if you notice that you’re drinking on more days of the week than before, or even a larger amount.

Eat a balanced diet -
When you're experiencing symptoms of SAD, you might look for fast food to boost your mood.

Keep a journal -
Writing down your thoughts and emotions can have a positive impact on you. It will also help you get out some negative feelings from your system.

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