As the winter begins and sunlight hours decrease, it’s crucial to watch out for your mental health to minimize seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Besides having a professional medical plan, people experiencing SAD should find ways of coping with the symptoms at home.
A few methods and activities that form part of the treatment plan include self-care strategies such as exercise, daily routine maintenance, a healthy diet, etc. Additionally, it is also an excellent idea to postpone any significant decisions when you experience SAD until you get better. The following are additional tips to cope with seasonal affective disorder.
Social Engagement and Interaction
Social activities engagement can reduce loneliness and isolation while alleviating SAD symptoms. However, it will not be easy to interact with friends and family during the winter due to the cold weather. Therefore, people can alternatively interact using online platforms, social media, and tech devices to maintain contact.
A professional therapist can help with coping strategies, identify negative thought patterns, and help with self-care methods. For those who are reluctant to visit a health provider for therapy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they can opt for online teletherapy services.
Additionally, combining cognitive-behavioral therapy with medication and light therapy is an extra effective SAD treatment. Usually, CBT can identify symptoms associated with negative thought patterns and then replace them with positive ones.
Medication for SAD
Many health providers may recommend an antidepressant to treat SAD since it has symptoms associated with depression. However, combining additional methods such as talk therapy is more effective than using medication alone.
Light therapy involves a device that emits bright, white light, which is currently believed to be the best type for SAD treatment.
Since SAD is associated with decreased sunlight exposure during the short winter days, light therapy replaces inadequate light from sunshine in such periods. Also known as phototherapy, it involves regular exposure to artificial sunlight.
Researchers believe that inadequate natural light is one of the possible reasons for SAD causes in the winter. Therefore, light therapy can reduce symptoms and provide significant benefits to those struggling with this condition.
Several studies also show that light therapy is usually useful for seasonal affective disorder treatment. So you can utilize lightboxes available on the market dedicated to its treatment.
However, ensure you use a lightbox that generates at least 10,000 lux consisting of white light for successful results.
Also, confirm that the lightbox is specifically designed to treat depression, SAD, and other mood disorders, but not intended for different purposes such as skin treatments.
Final Words from the Recover about Coping with SAD
This year is unique for those struggling with SAD due to the coronavirus pandemic rules involving social distancing and safety health measures. Many people are still experiencing pressure associated with this persistent disease. For some, it is aggravating SAD symptoms, while for others, newer symptoms are arising.
Never the less, colder weather and shorter days imply people remain indoors more often. It also means they have less time with family and friends, which is a crucial element of SAD’s coping.
However, if you suspect you have seasonal affective disorder symptoms, ensure you visit a health provider or rehab center near you immediately for support and treatment. Never allow depressive symptoms to worsen since they can contribute to severe mental health consequences in the future.