Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is a condition that affects about 4 to 6 percent of Americans every year. Although some people are forced to deal with it at other times, the majority of them experience SAD in the wintertime.
Depression is the most common symptom associated with SAD. But those who are diagnosed with SAD often experience everything from a change in appetite and weight gain to fatigue and anti-social behavior as well.
There is, unfortunately, no surefire cure for sadness when it comes to SAD. But there are quite a few things that people can do to combat SAD and make some, if not all, of the symptoms go away.
Are you sick and tired of struggling to go through the motions each and every day in the winter due to SAD? Here are 5 ways to treat seasonal affective disorder naturally.
1. Give Light Therapy Treatments a Try
If you’re wondering why SAD affects most people once the winter starts, there’s a pretty easy explanation for it. The thought is that SAD is triggered by the fact that most people don’t get a lot of sunlight in the wintertime.
With this in mind, one of the most effective cures for sadness caused by SAD is light therapy. By simply getting more access to the sun, you can overcome SAD and reduce the symptoms that accompany it.
The problem, of course, is that getting enough sun in the winter can be a problem for many people. The sun sets so early that they don’t get to enjoy it before they leave work for the day.
If you fall into this category, there are special devices that you can use during light therapy that emit LED light that is good for you if you’re suffering from SAD. By sitting in front of one of these devices for just a few minutes at the beginning of each winter day, you can sidestep SAD and the side effects of it.
Not everyone responds to light therapy in the same way. There’s a chance you could try it out and see few results. But it’s certainly worth a shot if you’re finding it hard to find another cure for sadness.
2. Consider Changing Your Diet
Are you a vegetarian? If so, then you probably know all about the benefits that come with abstaining from meat.
But there are some risks associated with being a vegetarian, too. And one of those risks might just be SAD.
Although most studies done on this issue up until this point have been inconclusive, one study completed in Finland suggested that vegetarians were about four times more likely to experience SAD than those who eat meat.
There is additional research that needs to be done into this particular topic before vegetarians need to worry too much about SAD. But if you suffer from SAD and don’t eat meat or other animal products, you should think about how your diet might be affecting your mood.
3. Find Ways to Take In More Vitamin D
Those who don’t get enough access to sunlight in the winter often have low vitamin D levels. Those low levels can lead to SAD and other forms of depression if you’re not careful.
While taking a vitamin D supplement is not yet scientifically proven to get rid of SAD symptoms, there are some studies that indicate it might be helpful. You could see a reduction in your symptoms when you take a vitamin D supplement on a regular basis.
It’s still best to try and soak up as much vitamin D as you can from the sun. But if it’s simply not possible for you to do it during the winter, a vitamin D supplement might just be the next best thing.
4. Eliminate as Much Stress From Your Life as You Can
About 80 percent of Americans have reported that they have to deal with some level of stress regularly. And stress is something that can cause a long list of health-related problems if you let it.
Those who have high stress levels will leave themselves more susceptible to mood disorders like SAD. So it’s important for them to actively work to bring their stress levels as low as they can get them.
There are many ways to reduce stress. You can:
- Start going to the gym at least three times a week to work out
- Sign up for a yoga class
- Sit and meditate in silence for at least a few minutes every day
- Get a massage once every week or two
- Limit the amount of time you spend at work
You may not see a huge change in your mood when you first start working to lower your stress. But over time, you should start to see changes in your overall well-being.
It’s not a bad idea to monitor your mood by keeping a journal and writing down how you’re feeling day in and day out.
5. See If CBD Oil Works For You
Those suffering from SAD often have an imbalance in the chemicals in their brains. Specifically, their serotonin levels are often low or out of whack.
There are some people who think that CBD oil might come in handy for those who are fighting back against SAD. It appears to raise the serotonin levels in some people and improve their mood.
You can use this useful link to discover more about the connection between CBD and depression.
Find Your Cure For Sadness Caused by SAD Today
Making it through a cold, dark winter is hard enough. Why make it even harder by adding SAD to the mix?
If this condition has got you feeling down, find your cure for sadness and deal with it accordingly. By getting more sunlight, taking a vitamin D supplement, and working out more often, you might be able to get rid of your SAD once and for all. It’ll make the wintertime much more pleasant for you.
Would you like to show your support for someone who has SAD or another form of depression? Read our blog to see 10 ways you can be more supportive.