Prior to living in New York, I had never experienced seasonal depression. Also known as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Winter can be difficult, especially with the shorter days and limited sunlight. And once you’ve endured several days of constant gloom & freezing temps, it can start to take a toll on you. You may even develop symptoms like insomnia, fatigue, mood swings and sadness.
It can be easy to lose motivation in everyday activities. However, there are some ways in which can help you fight the symptoms of seasonal depression.
Even on the coldest, gloomiest days when I don’t want to get out of bed, I know that those are the days I need fresh air the most. Even just 15 or 30 minutes outdoors can help boost your mood. Especially if you work from home or in an office with limited sunlight, make it a priority to get outside at least once a day. Whether you go for a run, walk to your local coffee shop or just sit outside to soak up some sun. Natural sunlight is often the thing we need most when experiencing symptoms of SAD.
One of the symptoms of seasonal depression is feeling the constant want to hibernate and not interact with others. However, maintaining your social life is important in order to keep you from isolating yourself when dealing with seasonal depression. Going out with friends, scheduling coffee dates on weekends, taking a workout class or participating in any social activity that will get you amongst other people and give you a reason to get out more. If you’re a homebody like me, here are some ways in which you can be more social.
Vitamin D Supplements
Probably one of the hardest things when dealing with seasonal depression during winter months is the fact that there are limited hours of actual daylight. The sun provides us with Vitamin D, which gives us a natural mood booster by increasing our serotonin levels. However, you can opt to take a daily pill form of Vitamin D or liquid form that can be added to food or water. Both of which can help increase your Vitamin D levels and improve your mood and help ward off depression. As always, consult a physician before taking any vitamins or supplements to see what is best for you and your body. For other supplements to consider taking in your 30s, read this article.
Move Your Body
It’s no secret that working out is one of the best ways to boost your mood instantly (thanks to endorphins) our body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Yoga is also a great way to get your body moving, as well as help calm your mind. I love taking walks in the park or around my neighborhood. I know that I instantly feel a change in my mood when I get my body in motion. If you can’t fit a workout into your schedule, try cleaning your home while blasting your favorite playlist. A little cardio goes a long way.
How have you dealt with seasonal depression before? Any tips you can share with others?!