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6 Tips for Living With Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Tips for Living With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mental health condition that occurs during the fall and winter months. People with SAD can experience various symptoms, such as fatigue, low mood, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. These can make it hard to function normally in your daily life. Fortunately, there are several ways you can improve your symptoms with or without medication. Here are some tips for living with the seasonal affective disorder:

Tips for Living With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Engage in Bright Light Therapy

Light therapy is a non-drug treatment for SAD. It involves sitting in front of a special light box that mimics outdoor sunlight and is usually used during the morning or afternoon when you feel your symptoms are at their worst. Light boxes can be purchased at most drugstores but should not be used as a total replacement for sunlight.

Light therapy is safe and effective in reducing SAD symptoms, but it can also cause headaches and eye strain if used too long or too close to bedtime. Be sure not to sit too close to the light source, and try to get outside when you can to get Vitamin D from natural sunlight.

Get Outside for Some Fresh Air and Natural Light

SAD is a form of depression that can occur during the winter months when there are fewer hours of sunlight than in summer. This can be caused by serotonin levels in your brain is affected by a lack of exposure to sunlight, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Exposure to natural light may help regulate these chemicals and alleviate depression symptoms. The best way to get this kind of exposure is through direct contact with daylight, which you can do by going outside for at least 30 minutes every day during daylight hours if possible. You might find you feel better after just a couple of weeks! Try to get at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day if you’re able to; this source of Vitamin D can go a long way in helping you feel better overall.

Exercise Regularly

The benefits of regular exercise are numerous, but one of the most important for people with SAD is that it can help increase their energy levels and make them feel more optimistic about life. Exercise will also improve your sleep quality, which may help you feel less fatigued during the day. You’ll likely see better results if you get a workout buddy to join in on the fun!

Eat Well and Stay Hydrated

Eating well and staying hydrated are two of the most important things you can do to feel your best. Food is fuel for the body, and it’s vital that you eat foods that will give you the energy you need throughout the day. Some foods that are excellent energy sources include nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, olive oil, eggs (preferably free range), lentils and beans, and wholegrain bread or cereals with low sugar content.

Staying hydrated is just as important as eating healthy food because dehydration can cause symptoms similar to SAD, including fatigue which could increase feelings of depression, so make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, depending on how active you are throughout each day.

Have an Open Dialogue With Your Doctor

In addition to these tips, you should have an open dialogue with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to help you determine the best course of treatment and can help you understand how SAD affects your body. If you feel like your mood is affecting your daily life, it’s essential that you talk about this issue with someone who can offer insight into what could be causing such symptoms. If none of the natural treatments help you feel better, you could benefit from medication to help regulate your symptoms. There are many effective biopharma medications available that have been shown to help people suffering from severe depression. These medications are thoroughly tested and manufactured by reliable healthcare companies like Avantor, which create “life-changing treatments for patients around the world.” Medication might be the missing piece that can help you return to your usual self if you’re suffering from SAD or chronic depression. Talk to your doctor if you want to explore this treatment option.


Socializing with friends and family can help you feel better, as they may be able to offer support and companionship during SAD. If you are experiencing severe or persistent symptoms, talk to your doctor about other treatments. Your doctor may recommend medication or other therapies. It is important to remember that your doctor knows more than anyone else about the health of your body—they will likely be able to help figure out how best to manage SAD.

Living with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can be difficult, and knowing what to expect from yourself and your symptoms is essential. Luckily, ways to manage SAD make it easier for you and those around you. Take control of your health and happiness today by implementing these tips for living with SAD. 

Charlotte Johnson

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