Keeping on top of SAD during the winter – eight tips to try
The winter blues, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that occurs during the colder months.
SAD can make you feel tired, sad, and irritable, and can affect your sleep, appetite, and energy levels. While there is no cure for SAD, there are several things you can do to ease your symptoms. Here are eight suggestions toy try.
1) Use CBD oil
CBD oil is a natural remedy that has been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of SAD. CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is found in cannabis plants.
However, the psychoactive compound found naturally in the cannabis plant is removed, so CBD does not produce any mind-altering effects. Instead, it helps to alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety, which can contribute to depression when left untreated.
CBD oil is available in many forms, including tinctures, capsules, and topical creams, making it easy to use and convenient – perfect for those days where you don’t feel capable of doing anything. Before you consider cbd oil, however, it is important to talk to your doctor as it can interact with some medications.
2) Use SAD lights
One of the most effective treatments for SAD is light therapy, also known as phototherapy. This involves exposure to bright artificial light, which can help to improve your mood and energy levels. Light therapy boxes are available for purchase online or at many stores.
Make sure you read the instructions carefully before using one, as improper use can cause eye damage. Additionally, don’t be tempted to use a sun bed as an alternative – exposure to UV light does not cure SAD in itself, and you risk damaging your skin permanently. Light therapy must also be carried out every day to be effective, so using a sun bed this often as a treatment would fry you like a crisp.
3) Get outside
When the sun is shining, take a walk, sit on a park bench, or eat lunch outdoors. The natural light will help to improve your mood and increase your energy levels. Even in winter, getting outside can really help SAD sufferers. You might not be able to see it, but the sun is still there behind all the cloud.
Additionally, the fresh air can help to get more oxygen into your body, which helps remove toxins from the blood and reduces feelings of fatigue, whilst seeing nature is known to release endorphins that make you feel good, so try to find a park or a woodland to walk through if you can.
Exercise releases endorphins too, which have mood-boosting effects. A moderate amount of exercise is the key – too much will make you even more fatigued, which will leave you feeling exhausted and unable to do anything at all.
Consider going to the gym and doing some light cardio or weights, or go for a run in your local area. If you don’t feel up to doing either, do a few push ups at home or do some vigorous housework. You might not want to, but you’ll feel the benefit after.
5) Eat a healthy diet
Eating nutritious foods helps to improve both your physical and mental health. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. The more nutrients you can get, the more energy you will be giving your body, helping to reduce fatigue.
Think about taking a vitamin D supplement each day – most people are deficient in vitamin D during the winter, which can contribute to developing SAD.
7) Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep can worsen the symptoms of SAD, so aim for at least 8 hours of sleep each night. Short days and dark nights can make it hard to feel like going to bed, but the more sleep you can get, the better your body will recover ready for the next day. If you’re struggling with insomnia as a result of your SAD, CBD oil may help you to drift off.
8) Connect with others
Spending time with friends and family can help to improve your mood and make you feel less isolated. The winter can be a time where we all stay cooped up in our homes sheltering from the cold, only to emerge for Christmas and then go back again.
Being alone can lead to overthinking, which isn’t good for those with depression. Being with loved ones, however, keeps your mind occupied with fun and exciting topics, which may leave you feeling tired, but your mood should be much improved.
If you’re feeling down this winter, don’t despair – there are plenty of things you can do to ease your symptoms. Hopefully these tips will help, but if you’re still struggling, talk to your doctor about other treatment options – don’t suffer in silence!