sea•son•al af•fec•tive dis•or•der
Noun: Seasonal affective disorder
“Depression associated with late autumn and winter and thought to be caused by a lack of light.”
Living in the Pacific Northwest, known for its already rainy grey skies year round. I have found the months after daylight savings time, November and December tend to be especially hard mentally for me. Sometimes the sun doesn’t even show, and there is a “sunset” feeling around 3 pm.
There is only one foolproof way to fight SAD back and beat it… hop on a flight to a Tropical Island until spring arrives.
Unfortunately, that’s not feasible for the majority of us.
I have come up with 10 far cheaper and easy to achieve actions that can help you take back your happiness.
1. Daylight Savings Time Mind Trap
Once the clocks fall back an hour, accept it. There is no quantitative amount of complaining that will change the clocks back. So better to take it mentally and live in the moment.
2. Change the Clocks
Our phones will automatically change and so will computers, but most likely your appliances won’t. So take the 2 minutes out of your busy day and get rid of the reminder of what the time used to be.
3. Set a daily wake-up alarm
Wake up at the same time every day, even if you do not have work that day. Getting your body to know daily what to expect, will help your mind.
4. Less dense carbs and sugars
The lack of sun will already make us sleepy throughout the day. Dense carbs and sugars have the effect of making one dozy after the meal.
5. More high protein and fats
Proteins and fats are denser in vitamins and nutrients, which may help certain individuals in the darker days. Also, your body will be able to break these down with using less energy than dense carb intake.
6. Spend 30-60 minutes outside
With the less than desirable shorter days, it’s far too easy not to go out at all. Acknowledging this can give us the same effects as cabin fever. In the morning find a 30-60 minute window where you can go for a walk, or even perhaps use that outside time as travel to a needed location in your day. Take in the fresh air and new surroundings as you go.
8. Turn lights On
As soon as the sun starts setting or you notice the day is ending, turn on the main lights in your living space or work. Don’t allow the darkness to become something you just get accustomed too when still having a few hours of work or chores to do before bedtime.
9. Buy A Sun Imitation Light ( Light Therapy )
These lights come in many forms and names, but the central premise is a large surface that puts off a bright, focused beam of light. To mimic getting the suns rays for our brain and psyche to react in the same way it would in the summertime.
10. Be Positive
In 6 months or less sunny, hot days will be surrounding you!!!