Seasonal affective disorder or depression is a real mental health condition which strikes thousands of people each time the weather changes from summer to winter. Throughout the course of fall, symptoms worsen until they become a general depression. Here are some tips for preparing to transition out of seasonal affective disorder and prepare for next year.
- Plan some trips to the parts of your county who are getting the most sunshine faster than where you live. It will feel like spring has sprung early and will motivate you to hold on until the season changes in your area.
- Set an intention to pick up a hobby that puts you outside once the weather changes. Been doing a lot of in-studio yoga? Find an outdoor yoga class in a local park or on the beach.
- Remember that you can’t do everything all at once. It’s important to give yourself room and the expectation for the occasional day of depression. Changing seasons don’t always provide a smooth transition. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by thinking you’ll be able to conquer the world every day. Continue to do the methods of self care you have set up for yourself throughout the season and have patience. Soon the season will be entirely shifted and you’ll be feeling better.
- Find some gratitude for your experiences with SAD this year. There is a stark contrast between feeling slow, low, and down, to feeling up, high, and active. Once life picks up again it can feel a little overwhelming. Even though SAD can be challenging, it does provide a necessary balance to the hustle and bustle of life. Use your experiences to inspire more calm and quiet time.
- Write a list of what you learned during your period of SAD this year and save it for next year. The seasons change each year. This is a fact of life. Within two seasons, you’ll be facing seasonal affective disorder once again. Now is the opportunity to reflect on what you learned about how you best cope with SAD. Write a list and leave yourself some tips so that next season, you’ll feel prepared instead of blindsided by SAD.
Avalon By The Sea is one of California’s few certified treatment centers for providing excellent care for mental health conditions as a primary diagnosis. If you or a loved one feel you might be suffering from ongoing depression, call Avalon today for a private consultation and more information on our residential treatment programs for mental health. 1 888-958-7511.