While seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is something that can take place during any season, winter is especially notorious for its cold temperature, short days and long nights. Sure, there are some who just love winter but there are also a lot of those who find that this season reflects poorly on their mental state. With that in mind and without further ado, here are five ways you can successfully beat SAD.
Don’t remain sedentary
Finding a season-based excuse not to go out is quite easy. In winter, it’s too cold. In summer, it’s too hot. In Autumn, it’s too rainy and in the spring… well… allergies, of course. However, humans are incredibly physical beings and remaining dormant and sedentary for too long will reflect on your mental state, as well. In order to fight through this, you should at least get a gym membership. Needless to say, this can never replace going outside and catching some fresh air.
Get enough rest
There’s no problem that’s big or bad enough that a sleep deprivation can’t make it worse. Fortunately, this works the other way around, as well. Not sleeping enough or not sleeping good enough can have devastating effects on both your mind and your body. Now before people start complaining that they just can’t find time to sleep A) this is a poor excuse and B) they can still improve the quality of their sleep. By sticking to a sleep schedule, exercising regularly, investing in a new mattress and pillows and not drinking caffeine-rich beverages after 2 PM, you can, indeed, make difference.
Let your home help you
No matter how much time you spend outside or outdoors, your home is always your headquarters, the place you return to at the end of the day. This means that you have to ensure that it’s as pleasant as possible. To do so, you should let it appeal to all of your senses. Your home needs to have a pleasant smell, which is why you need to find an aroma that suits you the most. It needs to be warm/cool enough (depending on the season). Most importantly, for your mental health, it needs to have enough natural light. Curtains and well-positioned window awnings are just one of the way to control the flow of light through your home.
Even though this may not seem as something relevant, there are certain studies that claim that our diet needs to adjust to the season we’re in. In the spring, bitter foods like onions, leeks, mustard and spinach may help regulate your body’s energy system. In the summer, eating sweet helps cool down your body. Autumn prefers sour flavors, whereas winter needs a high level of proteins and fats. A lot of people eat this way without even knowing, due to the fact that they turn to seasonal foods, yet, in the era of supermarkets, this might not be as intuitive as you may have assumed.
During the colder part of the year, you might feel as if you would rather stay inside, alone. Needless to say, this is not the right way to go. Humans are beings that are prone to socializing, which means that the lack of human contact might become a deficit that your mental state will soon come to realize. Staying in touch with friends also makes sense from a pragmatic standpoint. Once the spring and summer come, you might want to invite them on an adventure. Why would they come with someone who just spent entire autumn and winter not returning their calls and avoiding face-to-face meetings?
The best thing about the above-listed five suggestions lies in the fact that they are healthy lifestyle choices, regardless if you have SAD or not. As such, they are probably something that you should stick to even after winter ends. This way, you can start looking forward to every seasonal change instead of dreading from it.