It’s that time of year, I’m not talking about joy and cheer, but the time of year cases of depression spike. If you’re suffering, you’re not alone. In fact, 2 out of 5 people in the U.S. suffer from depression. Millions are especially impacted by seasonal affective disorder or sad.
Colder temps, shorter days and gloomier skies all contribute to seasonal affective disorder or SAD. SAD affects 1 in 20 people in the U.S., so how can you stay motivated?
Here are some tips to help you cope with the feelings that come with the season.
“Putting the right people around you, putting positive people around you. Those things are gonna bring us joy, fulfillment, contentment," said James West, licensed mental health expert.
Doctors suggest spending 30 to 60 minutes out in the sun each day and make sure you get enough vitamin D3 to combat depression.
Aromatherapy, particularly sandalwood oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil and lemon oil, are all known to be mood boosters.
Working out at least 30 minutes a day is a proven depression fighter. Experts says yoga, tai chi, walking, swimming and running are particularly helpful.
But if these methods don’t work for you, when should you see a doctor?
West says, “If you’re depressed, you’re not wanting to eat right, you’re not wanting to go to work, you’re not wanting to go out with friends, you’re isolating...”
If depressed feelings last for more than a week, it’s time to get professional help.
There are many reasons SAD affects people, but time change is the most common. It impacts our internal clocks, throwing them off and causing us to feel more tired. Dawn simulators can help. These types of alarm clocks wake you up through gradually lighting up your room, mimicking natural lighting to encourage a calm wake-up.