Seasonal affective disorder occurs when seasons change, typically starting in the fall and extending through winter. During the fall months, the days are shorter, and the weather tends to be gloomier. This limits exposure to the sun and activities that people can do outdoors.
Simple activities, such as going for a walk, meeting up with friends, or even looking out the window on a beautiful vista, can be almost impossible. As a result, some people can feel isolated or depressed during these months. Symptoms include depression, low energy levels, problems sleeping, changes in weight or diet, feelings of hopelessness, and difficulty concentrating.
SAD tends to lift in the spring when the days get longer, the sun comes out more, and the weather makes it easier for people to get out and socialize again.
Is There a Cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder?
While there is no immediate cure to wash away SAD, there are a few steps you can take to reduce or limit the symptoms. The best thing you can do is keep moving. Join a gym or look for some exercise routines you can do in your own home. The movement is good for you.
Also, look for clubs and other organizations you can join that will help you get out during this season. This will prevent you from staying inside for too long. If your symptoms continue to worsen, talk to your doctor or therapist. He or she may recommend other exercises you can do or antidepressants to take to get you through the spring.
The most important thing to do if you have seasonal affective disorder is admit that the symptoms are valid and are affecting how you feel. This will help you take action and seek the treatment you need.
How Can Parents Make Their Home More Comfortable?
As you wait for SAD to pass from your family, there are a few steps you can take to improve the comfort and quality of your home. Start by finding ways to add natural light within your home. Even for a few hours each day, this light can brighten up your living space and your mood. Some companies even make lights that mimic natural light so you can feel better.
SAD sufferers can also add houseplants in their homes. These plants clean your home’s air and make you feel closer to the outdoors. Speaking of clean air, you can schedule appointments to clean and maintain your HVAC system. This regular preventive maintenance will improve the air you breathe and make you feel less restless and stuffy.
You can’t always get outside during the cold winter months, but you can limit the effects of SAD by identifying the symptoms and taking steps to lessen them.
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