Plenty of us have faced feelings of sadness or a low mood from time to time as the seasons change, especially during the winter months. As the days get shorter, darker, and colder, it’s common to lose some energy and enthusiasm.
What is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal depression, also called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is more than just a minor change in mood. It’s a type of depression that’s felt most days for an extended period of time, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health explains. Seasonal depression also causes issues at work, school, or in personal relationships. And it may even happen in the fall or summer.
Everyone who deals with seasonal depression deserves to know that their issues are valid and that treatment can address their symptoms.
If you’re wondering how to cope with seasonal depression, these options can help.
3 Ways to Combat Seasonal Depression
1. Light Therapy
Light therapy is the process of exposing yourself to a light source that mimics the qualities of natural, outdoor light. The Mayo Clinic explains this may trigger chemical changes in your brain that help address your SAD symptoms.
Light therapy is accessible and has a relatively low cost. You can find well-regarded lamps for under $200. Once you make your purchase, the only thing to consider is the electricity. It’s an especially common way to help seasonal depression.
Be sure to talk to your medical professional before starting light therapy treatment. Certain medical conditions, ranging from bipolar disorder to visual problems and eye diseases, could be made worse through light therapy without medical oversight.
SAD can make it difficult to want to do anything. But self-care can play an important, complementary role in addressing SAD symptoms.
You can try a variety of simple lifestyle changes. Exposing your home and working space to more natural light is often very easy. Exercise requires a commitment, but can be low-impact, too. Spending time with family and friends and a healthy diet are two more examples. Even setting a bedtime schedule helps some people dealing with SAD.
Working with a qualified counsellor is an effective way to deal with seasonal depression. Talk therapy can help to identify and modify the negative thoughts and behaviours that stem from seasonal depression.
While there’s no single way to cure seasonal depression, working with a mental health professional gives you valuable support from a knowledgeable and trustworthy provider.
Finding a counsellor in Canada for in-person appointments can be difficult, whether in small towns or our largest cities. At Wellin5, we connect you with counsellors, registered in Canada and holding a master’s degree, for easy and accessible online appointments.
Our counsellors are equipped to help you deal with any symptoms of depression, giving you the support you need to feel better.