I was watching a major news show yesterday and one of the hosts shared how she suffers from S.A.D. She teared up a little. It was clear to me she was indeed feeling low. Most of the experts agree it’s a real condition. Also, one of the other staff members, a recovering alcoholic, said studies have shown that it’s harder for a person to quit drinking in the winter, too.
S.A.D, is real. It doesn’t necessarily needs to be treated but it needs to be recognized so one can take proper steps. Obviously, some people have more problems with the dark winter months than others. For some it is indeed a struggle. Here some, not all, things you can do if you are one of those “strugglers”.
- More light is needed. Either by a light box or keep as many lights on in your house as you feel you can afford. Getting up early and catching what daylight you can is good.
- Extra vitamin “D” is good.
- Fish Oil is good.
- Exercise is crucial in the winter. I’ve worked through many a low mood by exercising on my elliptical. I have been limited of late due to my feet but am back on track now.
- Reaching out to others is also important. I just talked to a really good friend today and she had a very bad day. She went shopping. She called me at home (I was out running errands) but didn’t call me on my cell. It’s not a sign of weakness to admitting to periods of depression or just a low mood.
Shopping therapy does NOT work.
It gets you out of the house and that is good but it does nothing to sustain a good mood. My friend would’ve done much better to have gotten a hold of me and come over for a cup of coffee. We’ve had this conversation before but she still doesn’t reach out as she should. When we share our low mood with the right people, it almost always helps. (I mention the right people because we certainly should avoid the wrong (negative people and those who join us in our misery only to make it worse.)
If you suffer from S.A.D. (and this winter almost everyone seems to), be as proactive as you can be to stay active. And if you’re being treated with antidepressants, consider checking with your doctor and tapering off when spring comes. It may mean you only need medical intervention during the winter months. Remember, this is between you and your doctor.