Strategies to Self-Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder
If, as summer turns to fall, you find yourself feeling depressed or experiencing other symptoms I described in last Wednesday’s blog post, you may have SAD or the “winter blues.”
There are several steps you can take to relieve a mild case of SAD:
Get as much natural sunlight as possible. Try to step outside for a few minutes to get that Vitamin D!
Exercise regularly. Activity will boost the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Exercise is also relieves stress and keeps your body strong and healthy.
Reach out to friends and family. Isolation may exacerbate your symptoms.
Eat a well-balanced diet. SAD often comes with carbohydrate cravings. Resist the urge to fight the blues with empty calories.
Make time for fun activities. Doing something you enjoy can lift your spirits.
These tips are just suggestions. You don’t need to do them all at once. Try one or two to see if they make a difference for you. It may take some trial and error to assemble your perfect personalized “winter blues” tool kit.
If these strategies don’t provide relief, your “winter blues” may be a more serious case of SAD. Next Wednesday I’ll cover how professional help from your primary care provider and/or therapist can help.
*Information gathered from www.helpguide.org
Kayci Lorenz is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Training. She focuses on young adults dealing with a variety of mental wellness concerns, including anxiety and stress management. She sees clients at our Menasha location and at the UW-Fox Valley campus.
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