Tips to Easing Seasonal Affective Disorder

What was once considered a serious case of the “winter blues”, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD as it is referred to, is a very common form of depression. It’s so common, that roughly 3 million new cases are presented in people around the world each year. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a variant of depression that is affected by the changing of the seasons. This illness most commonly presents itself during Autumn and prevails well into the winter months. It is less prevalent in the spring/summer months. Stuart MacFarlane, a Jungian Analyst in London has a few helpful tips on helping you conquer (or at least ease) your SAD this season.

Light Therapy
One of the biggest triggers of SAD is the absence of light. During the winter months, we have to become accustomed to less sunlight. For many, this ushers in an overwhelming feeling of depression. Machines like dawn simulators and “light boxes” help to recreate the missing sunlight that can really be of help. Many people find that sitting in front of a light box for 30 minutes can help alleviate feelings of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Use Aromatherapy
Our brains are constantly reacting to stimuli. The use of essential oils, like lavender, peppermint, and chamomile can help stimulate the area of the brain that controls mood and ease the stress that is associated with SAD. Essential oils can also help to influence sleeping and eating patterns, both of which become greatly disturbed in the winter months.

Stay Active
When the cold air strikes and winter are in full effect, we tend to lose our motivation to do anything. Simple activities like walking the dog, going to the gym, or anything that involves leaving the house can become tedious activities in the cold. As with other forms of depression, one of the best ways to combat SAD is to stay as active as possible. Treadmills, stationary bikes, or home aerobics are great ways to keep yourself active and fight off the weight gain that is commonly associated with depression as well.

It may sound imaginary, but Seasonal Affective Disorder is a very real variation of depression. By following these few tips and more, you can help ease your feelings of winter depression and get back to enjoying all the snow, holidays, and fun that winter has to offer.

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