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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is related to changes in seasons and is most likely caused by a lack of light.  This form of depression usually starts in late autumn and carries on through the winter months.  In fact, January 16, 2017 was deemed the most depressing day of the year.  Thankfully we have all made it through that day and are a month closer to experiencing the joyful bliss of summer and warmer weather!  But alas, there is still more winter to get through before we can dream of swimming pools and fresh flowers.  So what can we do about SAD?  Here are some simple things that you can implement in your daily routine to help get you through the last weeks of winter!

  1. Stick with a regular schedule. Individuals who suffer from SAD tend to have difficulty sleeping and maintaining a regular sleep schedule can help.  Follow a routine before bed that is consistent each night and wake up at the same time each morning.  Turn any devices off 30 – 60 minutes before you go to sleep to help decrease stimulation.  Have a cup of herbal tea.  Read a book.  Whatever routine works for you, but keep it consistent.
  2. Enjoy the little bit of sun we get throughout the winter months. Even on a cold day, get out for a walk and enjoy the limited amount of sunlight that we are exposed to.  This will help to boost your mood.  The fresh air always helps as well!
  3. Take Vitamin D. This vitamin is considered the “sunshine vitamin” since we generally get it from the sun.  With limited amount of sunlight during the winter months, it is important to supplement that with a good dose of vitamin D.  Make sure to use a quality supplement like Genestra Brands to get the most out of it.  Talk with us more about Vitamin D.
  4. Be proactive. Combat the affects of SAD by engaging in activities that make you happy.  Plan a movie night with your friends, have a games night with the family, go out for a nice dinner.  Whatever it may be, keep yourself engaged as much as possible to help get through the winter months.
  5. Increase the amount that you exercise (or at least don’t let it dwindle away). Keeping yourself on track with your exercise routine is crucial.  It helps to release the endorphins that keep you happy and energized throughout the day.  Going for a run outside is great, but if it’s too cold for you, a treadmill will work just as well.  Lifting weights is a great option as well to help increase muscle mass and combat any weight gain that may have occurred throughout the winter.  Or choose a fun game of squash, hockey, or get out snowshoeing.  These are all great options!

Take these points into consideration when trying to get through the rest of the winter months and into some nicer weather!  Don’t let SAD get the best of you!