14 Ways to Cope with Seasonal Depression for Sustained Mental Health

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Cope with seasonal depression

Depression in itself is a tough condition to swerve through. Add in some seasonal prospects of feeling low and you are completely stuck in a quagmire, aren’t you? In order to cope around with seasonal depression, it is important that you acknowledge the problem in the first place.

You will be stunned to know that one of the major reasons of the heightened risks of depression is because they either fail to understand the symptoms or lack the professional guidance to pull them out of their misery altogether.

By the end of this article, you will have a complete understanding and knowledge in terms of the ways to fight seasonal depression all together.

What is Seasonal Depression?

What is Seasonal DepressionSeasonal depression, also medically termed as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which is related to the constant changes in the seasons.

Someone suffering from the condition of seasonal depression tends to experience the symptoms around the same time during the year.

Majority of the SAD patients tend to experience the initiation of the symptoms during the fall months which continue on till the winter months, igniting a very moody and snappy feeling all along.

Apart from every possible accusations, what many of the patients tend to experience is people asking them whether or not the condition is even real when it a reality, the condition is way more than what many assess it to be.

It is a 100% real condition and not something that one spews out just like that.

It is very important to understand that the people suffering from this condition do need and require the same kind of support that you would normally provide someone else battling a mental health issue.

There are actual treatment methods that majority of the people undergo to fight seasonal affective disorder with.

What Causes Seasonal Depression?

What causes Seasonal DepressionEven after several researches and such, the scientists are not able to pinpoint the exact reason behind the condition altogether. That being said, there are a few risk factors as well as other associated reasons that could be a contributing factor to the condition of seasonal depression that many people are not even aware of.

Some of the common causes of Seasonal depression include:

  • Disruption of the body’s internal clock because of lack of sunlight during the winter months is often responsible for inducing the problems associated with the condition
  • Lack of proper levels of serotonin in the body which is responsible for triggering depression
  • Change in the seasons causes rapid alterations to the melatonin levels in the body which further contributes to the condition of depression in individuals
  • Even a family history with this condition could be a contributing factor
  • Struggling with other mental health issues like bipolar disorder etc.
  • Being a resident in a place which is farther out from the equator is a prevalent cause behind the condition of seasonal affective disorder

Signs and Symptoms of Seasonal Depression

Signs and Symptoms of Seasonal DepressionWhen it does come down to the signs and symptoms associated with seasonal depression, the possibilities are quite extensive and diverse, depending on the season as well.

In order to make understanding the condition easier for you, we are going to be helping you out with this effectively.

Fall and Winter symptomsSpring and Summer symptoms
OversleepingInsomnia
Changes in the appetiteLack of appetite
Tiredness and fatigueWeight loss
Low energyAnxiety and Panic Attacks
Weight gainGloominess

 

While these are just the predominant symptoms, some of the other effective symptoms that one can be subjected to experience include:

  • Feeling depressed throughout the day
  • Having lack of interest in things that intrigued you
  • Getting agitated and irritated very easily
  • Lingering feeling of hopelessness and guilt
  • Frequent thoughts of death or self-harm

How to Deal With Seasonal Depression?

How To Deal With Seasonal DepressionDealing with depression isn’t necessarily an easy way of life. The condition does have the possibility of taking a toll on one’s mental health and that too, for the worse. It is very important to ensure that you do opt for the natural remedies for seasonal depression which works wonders for this.

Whatever the condition be, it is important not to take everything lightly and do opt for ways to fight off the condition altogether and come out of it stronger in the end.

In here, we are going to be sharing some of the effective ways and cure for seasonal depression that can come in handy for you.

1. Light Therapy

Light TherapyA number of conducted studies (R) have found that light therapy does prove out to be a beneficial remedy for handling the condition associated with seasonal depression.

Studies (R) have shown that light therapy helps in elevating one’s mood and thus bringing out people from their misery altogether. It is believed that the bright light helps in replacing the lack of it during the colder winter months, thus alleviating one’s mood altogether.

One of the leading authors of one of the studies concerning light therapy stated saying that the moment that the light hits the retina inside the eyes, it gets converted into nerve impulses which is then relayed to some of the specialized areas in the brain which is involved with the emotional regulation, thus helping in fighting off the symptoms associated with seasonal depression.

The treatment using light therapy includes exposing yourself to the cool white fluorescent light for at least 20-60 minutes every day.

2. Step Outside of the House

Step outside of the houseYou might not deem it important but stepping out of the house can do wonders when it comes to coping with seasonal depression.

The lack of light during the season and even the lack of fresh air inside the house can make it feel even more suffocating for you to handle. If you want to get rid of the problem altogether, the best way to handle the same is by stepping out of the house and exploring the nature out.

Instead of cooping yourself up inside the house, enjoy a 10 minutes stroll or even just consider signing yourself up for an activity or sports because even that can help bring you out of the depressive mood.

3. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive behavioural therapy
ImageSource: skillshare.com

While the other forms of depression are unpredictable and can occur anytime, the thing with the Seasonal depression is the fact that it is actually very predictable and people know when it is going to end up affecting them for the worse.

The annual recurrence of this condition is what often tends to be the major problem in this condition. There is a specific cognitive behavioural therapy which is tailored for their well being and has been found to be quite effective in breaking the cycle down.

The cognitive therapy is much like a talk therapy that helps in changing out the thought patterns as well as the behaviour. This has been found helpful in changing the thought patterns and the behaviour in the individuals thus helping in getting rid of the condition altogether.

The only factor to consider in this is to ensure that the person you are seeking out help from is a trained and experienced professional who knows what he is doing and indulging in.

4. Exercise

ExerciseThe impacts of exercise and an active lifestyle do go hand in hand when it comes down to managing one’s mental health. It is actually very important to ensure that you do maintain a healthy and active lifestyle because the same has been proven to actually have quite a lot of beneficial impacts on your overall health altogether.

Don’t overindulge in any of the activities because the same can prove out to impact your body for the worse. Instead, it is always best to indulge in exercises that you actually do enjoy doing.

A conducted study (R) and Meta-analysis by a group of researchers did find that indulging in exercise did prove out to be a better option than the control intervention. Exercise helps in the release of endorphins in the body which does act as a natural antidepressant for one’s health.

There has been other conducted study as well. In one such conducted study (R), it was found that aerobic exercise actually helps in handling the condition associated with mild to moderate depression.

5. Maintain a Healthy Routine

Maintain a healthy routineOne of the most common impacts of depression is that it ends up affecting the overall activities in one’s life. In order to find around for things that help season depression, try and maintain a healthy routine in your life. This will not just help in maintaining regularity and a sense of normalcy in your life; it will also help prevent the lingering thoughts in your mind.

Instead of cooping yourself up with things that don’t mean anything, try and delve in normal things that you would do on a general basis. Once you set in the normalcy in your life, it does become a lot easier for you to ward off the unnecessary winter spurs that drag you down for your health altogether.

6. Bask in the Sun

Bask in the sunThe main reason behind the induction of the condition of seasonal depression is mainly blamed on the sheer lack of sunlight and the natural light, in general. This is why the affected people often times showcase the signs and symptoms during the fall and the winter months altogether.

So, it definitely does go without saying that soaking in the sunlight during these days can actually prove out to be quite an effective way to handle the condition altogether.

If you are wondering how this helps in lifting your mood back up is because of the fact that sunlight helps in boosting the levels of serotonin and melanin production in the body. What this does is help the brain cells communicate better.

If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms associated with this, it is best suggested to simply just spend 20-30 minutes in the sun without any kind of issues whatsoever.

7. Spend Some Time with Friends and Family

Spend some time with friends and familyWhen it comes down to the managing and to cope with seasonal depression, it is very important to ensure that you look out for ways to spend more quality time with your friends and family.

It is often hard to see and meet people when you are already upset and feeling down. Instead of letting those emotions take over, it is important that you do seek out some quality time to spend with your friends and family. It might be a very difficult thing to do but ensure that you take that initiative for your personal gain.

Try and make a list of things that you love doing and indulge in getting the same done without any kind of inhibitions. It is important to push yourself even if you are not feeling up for it because it does help.

8. Opt for Antidepressants

Opt for antidepressantsMedications can be a tough decision for many because not many people suffering from depression want to depend their life on the medication. It is important to ensure that if you are opting for medication, they should be the ones that are prescribed by a qualified doctor.

Predominantly, there are two different types of antidepressant options – the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and the generic bupropion. Both of these have direct impacts in boosting the overall levels of the chemical messengers in the body like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

While these drugs do have beneficial impacts on one’s mental health, it also does come with its fair share of negative impacts. It is very important and crucial to reaching out to a specialist who is qualified and experienced enough in this field. Don’t blindly trust anyone.

9. Get Proper Night’s Sleep

Get proper night’s sleepSleep is definitely one of the most compromised factors that the majority of the people go through during seasonal depression. The best way to fight and cope with seasonal depression is by getting a proper night’s sleep.

Instead of letting your mind and body take over your senses, try and optimize your biological clock for the best of sleeping during the night. Having an optimal amount of sleep is actually very effective in handling the condition for the best.

Even studies have found a link between depression and the lack of sleep. Majority of the people struggling with depression have been found to have trouble with their sleeping pattern.

Lack of sleep has been found to have impacts on the disruptive hormonal cycles in the body. This also does have the capability of ending up affecting one’s mood and overall health as well.

In a conducted study, it was found that patients suffering from depression who did regulate their sleeping patterns had their symptoms disappear in less than 8 weeks or so.

10. Cut out Sugar Intake

Cut out sugar intakeNot many people realize this but cutting out the sugar intake is also an amazing way for the seasonal depression treatment.

In some conducted studies, it has been found that people who do end up consuming more sugar are at a heightened risk of developing depression in comparison to the ones who don’t. Scientists believe that sugar hinders with the body’s ability to ward off stress which is why it is often suggested to cut out the unnecessary sugar intake if you struggle with the condition.

These will most definitely boost your energy levels within an instant but also does have negative implications on one’s body in the long haul.

11. Let Go off the Junk Food

Let go off the junk foodYet another one of the amazing things that help seasonal depression is getting rid of the junk food from your diet.

The overconsumption of refined carbs and even the unwanted sweet and starchy foods can actually end up being a problem for many. The heightened levels of blood sugar is often associated with the heightened risks of depression which is why it is important to understand for a fact that not everything you do is going to inflict negatively on your health.

Instead of binge eating unhealthy foods, it is always best suggested to depend on a diet that will boost your health for the better by including more fruits and vegetables.

12. Meditate and Relax

Meditate and relaxYou might not realize this but one of the most common reasons behind the induction of seasonal depression is mainly because of the plethora of racing thoughts across your mind.

Meditation does have a lot of amazing impact in getting rid of such issues altogether. It not just helps in handling the condition of the depressive symptoms but also helps in getting rid of the raging thoughts that many often tend to complain about.

Studies have also found that meditation does help in not just relaxing your mind but also helps in preventing the raging string of thoughts that many people often tend to struggle with while suffering from seasonal depression.

Kalayjian is actually quite an amazing way that provides with progressive relaxation which helps in promoting better body awareness by tensing as well as relaxing the muscles.

13. Travel Around

Travel aroundIf you suffer from seasonal depression every single year, you should be well aware of the symptoms by now then. The best way to combat the condition is by opting to travel around different places that you seek solace from.

If you do have the resources and the budget to splurge around, it is always best suggested to opt for places that will help boost your mental health and not the complete opposite. It is always best suggested to try and distance yourself from the situations that can often end up being a problem altogether.

14. Manage Your Stress

Manage your stressSeasonal depression in itself is a big burden. The last thing you want is to end up facing further issues with the condition. It is always best suggested to ensure that you do indulge in situations that will help in managing your stress in an effective way.

The last thing you want is to end up giving in to the condition of the stress to add to your depressive episodes altogether.

The best way to avoid that is by actively managing your stress for the best. Take a walk or even try and indulge in activities that help manage the stress levels because these definitely do work and that too, for the best.

When it does come down to the ways to cope with seasonal depression, the possibilities of the same are quite extensive. There are a number of ways in which one can effectively and efficiently manage their symptoms for the best. If you are suffering from a similar condition, it is always best suggested to opt for the natural means.