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6 Habits to Start Now to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Nov 23, 2022

6 Habits to Start Now to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that impacts approximately 10 million Americans and occurs only during certain times of the year. If you know that you are prone to seasonal depression, try these 6 habits to combat seasonal affective disorder before the symptoms hit hard.

1. Practice Self Care

When you start feeling down, caring for yourself is often the first thing you neglect. Best self-care is essential for boosting your self-esteem and your mood. So be sure to give yourself some love by scheduling regular massages or visiting the spa during the winter months when SAD is most prevalent.

2. Get Plenty of Light Exposure

During the winter, people tend to get less exposure to natural light because they spend more time indoors trying to stay warm. But light exposure is essential for your body’s natural production of vitamin D (which is a key vitamin for mental health). To stave off depression, try to get at least 20 minutes of natural light exposure each day.

3. Take a Vitamin D Supplement

If you can’t get out in the sun frequently enough to keep your body’s production of vitamin D high, take a vitamin D supplement. The National Institutes of Health recommends taking between 600 and 800 international units of vitamin D per day, depending on age.

4. Improve Your Diet

It’s pretty common to prefer unhealthy comfort foods during the winter. But unhealthy foods can make SAD even worse. Aim to improve your diet by incorporating plenty of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Examples include eggs, walnuts and salmon. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are shown to help with depression-related symptoms.

5. Engage in Exercise You Actually Enjoy

Exercise is a natural mood booster. But it’s no secret that staying active becomes harder in the winter. To make sure you’re getting your blood and endorphins pumping, engage in exercises you actually enjoy. You may find that enrolling in aerobics or spin classes are ideal during the winter months because they allow you to work out indoors when it’s too cold outside.

6. Fill Your Life With Positivity

Intentionally seeking out positive things to do and happy people to hang out with can help you combat feelings of depression. Finding the positive in life may be as simple as keeping a gratitude journal or staying away from depressing news sites.

These 6 habits can not only help you get through the winter without succumbing to SAD, but they may also help you enjoy a higher quality of life year-round. Get started on them today to begin reaping their mood-boosting benefits.

Category: health