Tips for Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder
“Seasonal Affective Disorder” is a form of depression that is caused by a lack of natural light. This typically strikes during the fall and winter months when the daylight is shorter. Upwards of 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In addition, individuals are affected by mood changes due to a lack of natural light. This is especially true for men and women who live in areas that are a great distance from the equator.
There are several ways to minimize the effects of this form of depression, and we’ll cover some of the most beneficial ways in this article.
Access Lots of Natural Light
In a warm-weather climate, residents and visitors have access the sunny, natural lighting of being outdoors. However, regardless of where you live, accessing as much light as possible can be a huge help for anyone who is affected by SAD.
Even in a sun-soaked city like Los Angeles, the sun still goes down very early in the winter months. Therefore, there is less time to access bright sunlight. If you’re feeling the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder in the winter, try your best to get outside in the sunlight as much as possible.
A great way to start your day right is with exercise. Getting yourself moving in the bright, morning sunlight can be especially beneficial for your body and mind. A morning run or stroll outside is an awesome way to begin your day. In Southern California, you could even consider an early morning surf session to get your day off to a great start!
Utilize Indoor Lighting
When you are indoors during the dark nights of the winter months, consider investing in a lamp or a “light-box” which emits artificial light. When you sit in front of it, it then can help stimulate your eyes and mind to feel the same effects of natural light.
“Daylighting” your home, i.e., illuminating the structure with natural light, is another wonderful and cost-effective option to bring light into your house. In a sunny climate like San Diego, daylighting a home is very practical and can help to keep electricity costs down. Not to mention providing lots of natural lighting in the house.
Consult a Doctor
While exercise, accessing as much sunshine as possible, and even changing your diet can certainly help (and even cure) Seasonal Affective Disorder, any form of depression should be evaluated by a doctor.
There are many treatment options to consider for men and women who are affected by SAD. Medical prescriptions and behavioral/cognitive therapy can help you feel better through the short and dark days of the winter season.
To explore your daylighting options and find the right solution for adding natural light to your home, feel free to explore our website or call a service location near you.