Every morning, when I am eating breakfast, I spend time in front of my light box. Even a small amount of time can help raise serotonin and dopamine levels in my body which can really help with my SAD depression.
Another thing that really helped me was when I started taking Vitamin D supplements. Best source of Vitamin D for humans is sunshine and vitamin D fortified milk. Because I don’t drink milk and my sun exposure is limited in the winter, taking Vitamin D helps protect my body from serotonin and dopamine loss. Vitamin D helps keep me from being overwhelmed by my SAD depression.
And finally, the thing that can help every kind of depression, especially SAD, is exercise. Nothing raises the body’s levels of serotonin more than exercise (except for maybe sex). So, if you are struggling with SAD, getting off the couch and out for a walk is the best thing that you can do.
#4 – The holidays can make things worse.
For many people, the holiday season is a very difficult time. For people struggling with SAD, it can be even harder.
The reason that the holidays are so much harder is that women living with SAD are already struggling with sadness and succumbing to the pressures and expectations of the holidaysis way more likely.
So, if you are already working hard to manage your SAD, make an effort to take care of yourself during the holiday season.
For me, this year I was invited to my father’s house for Thanksgiving. As much as I wanted to see my dad I knew that my stepmother would go out of her way to make my life miserable, as she always does. And I knew that if I put myself through that my SAD could very easily get worse.
So, I am staying home for Thanksgiving. And going to Mexico for Christmas for a little sunshine to get me through the long New England winter.
What can you do to make your holidays just a little bit easier?
#5 – Asking for help isn’t weakness.
While there are natural ways to treat SAD, for some women, they just don’t work.
If you find that your SAD depression is getting the way of you living your life, if it is interfering with your work or your relationships, I strongly encourage you to seek treatment.
Make an appointment with your PCP immediately and discuss with her how to best management your SAD depression.
The good news is is that SAD often passes as the winter and summer become the norm so chemical management of the depression might be short lived.
SAD is not something to be taken lightly. Feeling depressed can have debilitating effects on your work and your life
Fortunately, SAD is fairly easy to diagnose and treat. Take a look at the list above. Is this you? Awareness is a key step to figuring out what is going on with your moods and getting better.
You can do it! You will be glad you did.