In the last week we have experienced a sharp contrast in weather, from hot and smoky to cool and damp, indicating an abrupt entrance into autumn. This means the days will be getting shorter and the skies grayer – something that can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), often referred to as seasonal depression.

The change in weather may also mean a necessary change in personal care if you experience seasonal depression. While there are actions you can take to diminish your symptoms on your own, seeking professional advice is a good step.

What does SAD look like?

Seasonal depression feels much like year-round depression and include feelings of anxiety and dejectedness, loss of energy, sleep problems, and mood changes. SAD symptoms can be just as strong as other forms of depression and should not be overlooked.

What can you do?

  1. Seek Light The short days of the winter months means less sunlight. Less sunlight means less serotonin, which means higher risk of depression. Some therapies encourage using a sun-simulating bright light to help regulate hormone levels, but any exposure to sunlight you can give yourself may be beneficial.

  2. Exercise Endorphins released during exercise can help counteract the lack of serotonin and can increase levels of happiness, confidence, and feelings of accomplishments.

  3. Talk to a Therapist While there are many things you can do to take care of your body and your mind, seeking help from a professional can let you target the specifics of your experience. Not all treatments are suitable for every person, and a therapist can help you determine the best route forward. ¬