10 Tips for Combating Seasonal Affective Disorder

新加坡六合彩开奖网 staff in Ablah Library during the winter.Wichita State Strategic Communications

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that happens during certain seasons of the year, most often in fall and winter. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, less sunlight and shorter days are linked to a chemical change in the brain and can be a part of SAD, which is commonly called seasonal depression. While this is common in all age groups, it is talked about often with college students. Some of the signs of SAD include having low energy, trouble staying awake, trouble concentrating, changes in appetite, social withdrawal, feelings of sadness, depression and anxiety. It can be worse for women, young adults or people who already struggle with mental health issues. 

While SAD is common and difficult to work around, there are easy changes that can help push through the winter blues. Here are 10 ways, big and small, that can assist young adults in this SAD season:

1. Surround yourself with people that bring you joy

It鈥檚 easy to try and isolate yourself when feeling down, but socializing has been known to help mental health and feelings of loneliness. It doesn鈥檛 have to be a large group or a big event, just having a small movie night with your favorite people can boost your mood.

2. Eat food that makes you feel good

While eating healthy is important and can boost mental health, it is also important to eat food that makes you feel good and happy. Grabbing a little snack or treat is a great way to treat yourself and gives you an opportunity to enjoy the little things.

3. Spend time outdoors

In the cold months, it can be a little difficult to get yourself to spend time outside. Even if it鈥檚 for 20 minutes a day, going outside and getting a change of scenery can give you something to look forward to. If it鈥檚 too chilly to spend time outside, try cracking a window and reading a book to give yourself a chance to relax and get a breath of fresh air. 

4. Find a new hobby

Giving yourself something to occupy your brain is an easy way to distract or cope with feelings of SAD. Try joining a gym, find a new book to read or a new craft project.

5. Stick to a schedule

Maintaining a schedule helps with several effects of SAD like trouble sleeping and staying awake. If you are able to wake up and go to bed at the same time, it may make it easier to overcome things like fatigue or insomnia.

6. Consider taking a vacation or some time off

When you are stressed and overwhelmed, it doesn鈥檛 help feelings associated with SAD. It may be worth the time to take a small trip or even just take time off work to relax.

7. Don鈥檛 be afraid to ask for help

Feelings can be overwhelming. Reach out to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious or depressed. The people around you just want what鈥檚 best for you and would love to help you cope with your SAD.

8. Keep a journal

If you are feeling lost or having symptoms of SAD and are nervous to speak with other people about it, try writing your feelings down. Even if you are just writing in a journal, it is always better to get your emotions out, rather than keeping things bottled up. Writing your thoughts down has even been known to help improve mood and help cope with deep emotions.

9. Stay hydrated

With insomnia and sleep deprivation being large symptoms of SAD, it is easy to overdo it with caffeine or other beverages. Make sure to drink a lot of water and slow down on drinks that may make it harder to focus or sleep.

10. Practice relaxation habits

It is easy to develop new hobbies and habits indoors during the wintertime. Try meditating, yoga or breathing exercises when you feel overwhelmed or unmotivated. Studies show that practicing mindful habits can increase mood and symptoms of depression and anxiety.

While SAD affects millions of people every year, there are ways to cope and overcome the symptoms and emotions that come with it. By utilizing these tips, making it through the winter blues should be much more manageable. Don鈥檛 forget to take in the joys of the winter season as well and make the most of the chilly months ahead.

新加坡六合彩开奖网 offers Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) which covers individual, couple's and group therapy for a variety of ailments. Office visits are $10 per session, however no Wichita State student will be turned away due to inability to pay. CAPS is located in the Student Wellness Center and can be reached 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. on weekdays at 316-978-4792.

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