September can be a difficult time as school starts and workplaces get busier. The weather changes, days get shorter, and it is a long wait until the next holiday. People feel more resilient and able to cope when the sun is shining. Autumn can worsen anxiety and depression, so why does it affect us and can we beat the blues?
SAD is a mood disorder that affects an individual when the weather becomes cooler. People with SAD feel depressed during the shorter days of winter, and more cheerful and energetic during spring and summer.
Autumn can leave us "pining that summer is gone", but Psychologists say we thrive on routine since it brings structure and offers us a chance to be around people. With the new academic year, and work getting busy, healthy routines and habits help us cope. They make the grind seem like a new norm.
Ways to fight off SAD:
- Eat well and avoid comfort food during the autumn and winter months.
- Get as much indoor daylight as you can Position your computer or workspace near a window or take a break by a window. Even a little sunlight through glass is better than no sunlight at all.
- Get outside as much as you can Getting sunlight though a window is great, but the light you experience outdoors is way more intense, the ideal time is at noon, when the sunlight is at its brightest.
- Get regular exercise Exercise is a proven depression fighter and mood booster.
- Take vitamin D Up your vitamin D intake with juice or a vitamin supplement.
- Plan a getaway Keep your mood up! If you can swing it, plan your next getaway (hopefully some place warm and sunny!)
Taking the steps to keep yourself energized and happy are the keys to not falling into SAD. Do you feel like you are experiencing symptoms of SAD?
Is your low mood lingering longer than you would like it to? Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy that lasts longer than two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt your daily activities.
Best Care EAP counselors are here to help. Schedule your confidential appointment with an EAP counselor today by calling (402) 354-8000 or (800) 801-4182, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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