As our days get shorter many people suffer from cases of SAD. It affects a vast majority of us at varying levels most commonly Subsyndromal Seasonal Affected Disorder (SSAD). As our access to sun light diminishes, our melanin production can be thrown off, resulting in extra sleep and grogginess in the morning. Excessive levels of melatonin can be linked to depression. Medication can help with this type of depression as well as several other therapies and activities.
One alternative therapy for SAD is light therapy; it offers a broad-spectrum light, which can act as a substitute to sunlight. People suffering from SAD have been able to avoid medication with light therapy. Patients are expected to spend 30 to 60 minutes daily in front of their light source.
Other strategies for coping with depression is maintaining a well-balanced routine on a daily bases. This means regular deep sleep, regular exercise, meditation, and a well-balanced diet.
Tips for implementing these are:
Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day – even on the weekend!
Exercise for 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week. We suggest that exercises be incorporated early in the day, before noon, to avoid disrupting the bodies circadian cycle, which is our sleep/wake cycle. Extra activity outside during sunlight is very effective with cases of SSAD.
Incorporating some form of meditation, whether it be a few minutes of deep breathing or a guided meditation lasting up to a few hours. Meditation on a daily bases has proven to aid in managing stress and hone in our thoughts. Sufferers of depression often have an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness, limiting and controlling these thoughts has a very powerful effect on our self-esteem.
Eating regular healthy meals, low in sugar and avoiding alcohol, will nourish the body and prevent sugar crashes or hangovers.
Finally, if you have felt any signs of depression we advise you to talk to your doctor. All these tips are great tools for coping with mild cases of depression, but it is important to be followed by a professional. Incorporating the above tips with medical therapy has proven to help with better results. Through the process of maintaining regular routines there is a sense of empowerment that is very effective.
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