Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

The 3 Best Ways To Beat Seasonal Depression (SAD)

  Mar 18, 2024
Reviewed by Ayushi Jain

Seasonal Affective Disorder, often known as SAD, is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Typically, it starts in the late fall and early winter and goes away during the spring and summer. 

It goes beyond just feeling a bit low energy due to the lack of sun or from staying indoors a lot. 

Symptoms of SAD can include feeling sad or anxious, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, low energy, problems with sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, and more. These symptoms can make life complicated and lower quality of life during the cold seasons. 

For this article, we sat down with Alyssa Scolari from See You Through It Counseling where she gave us some tips on how to help overcome SAD and let you enjoy the fall and winter with better mental health. 

Get a Professional Diagnosis

Diagnosing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is the first step in getting the right help and treatment so you can get on with your life. Usually, it starts with a visit to a healthcare professional. 

The process typically involves a detailed discussion about your symptoms and any seasonal patterns you’ve noticed. They might also perform a physical exam and some lab tests to rule out other conditions that could be causing the symptoms.

Once SAD is diagnosed, the treatment can begin. Psychotherapy for depression is an effective treatment for SAD. A licensed therapist can help people identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be contributing to their depression. 

There are several effective options available. Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, is one common treatment. 

It involves sitting near a special light box that emits bright light mimicking natural outdoor light. This exposure can help improve mood and alleviate symptoms of SAD. 


Interesting Fact
Here you can see the data about the population affected by seasonal depression. Around 5% of people in the US are affected with this disease and 20% have milder forms of SAD.                                                                    

Make Some Lifestyle Changes

When managing SAD, self-help strategies and lifestyle changes can also play a big part. Simple adjustments in daily life can make a difference as long as you stay consistent.

One of the most beneficial changes is adding regular exercise to your routine. Physical activity boosts serotonin levels, decreases stress hormones, and improves mood. Even a daily walk can be effective. 

Getting enough sleep is also very necessary for managing SAD. Develop a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. 

This consistency helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improves your sleep quality. One other effective formula for coping with seasonal depression is allowing as much light as possible in your room. 

It is advised to keep curtains open and remove the objects from the window in the daylight.  If enough light is not coming into your room, you can try to go outside in the breaks. 

Seasonal depression (SAD) is more recognizable in adults than children. It is more common in females than males. 

Have Some Coping Mechanisms

Living with SAD can be challenging, but various coping mechanisms and support systems can help a lot. Mental health strategies, such as mindfulness and meditation, have proven to help alleviate some symptoms.

Mindfulness involves paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. This can help decrease the negative thoughts that come with SAD. 

Meditation helps in calming the mind and reducing stress, giving you a sense of peace and balance. 

Friends and family can provide emotional support, understanding, and companionship during tough times which helps to reduce how long symptoms can last. 

Help them understand what you need during those periods so they can be there for you in the right way. You can pursue art and craft therapies as a coping mechanism for seasonal depression.  

These therapies are conducted with arts and crafts activities in the presence of a trained professional. It helps in calming the mind, especially in the case of winter depression. 

Learning new skills and art improves the cognitive functioning of your mind and leads to better mental health. 

Final Words

There are various remedies and treatments you can use to ease seasonal depression. You can join social groups near your home according to your hobbies. Having a good social connection will help you combat loneliness and provide you with a sense of belonging. 

Apart from that, you should exercise regularly. Working out daily releases happiness hormones and improves your mood. Start focusing on self-care and do things that make you happy. 

In this post, we discussed 3 best ways to beat seasonal depression. If you find the article insightful, share it with others.