We have had so much rain lately that I feel like building an ark and climbing in it. It’s too nasty to go outside and so cabin fever sets in, and the long cold nights seem like they’ll never end.
Does this sound familiar? You may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise known as seasonal depression. Thankfully, there are things you can do to improve your dark mood.
Here are five ways to deal with seasonal depression:
Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. This is particularly helpful if you find that you can’t go to sleep or can’t wake up. If possible, eat your meals at the same time each day. Following these good habits will keep your body in a more normal rhythm.
Let the Light Shine In
When the weather is dreary and it looks dark outside, open your curtains and blinds and let in some natural sunshine, even if it’s just a small amount. When things are dark and dreary, it’s a temptation to just curl up in a corner. Spend at least part of the day in front of the window.
Purchase a Light Box/Dawn Simulator
If you’re having trouble getting out of bed, consider purchasing a dawn simulator. It works like your alarm clock but it gradually wakes you up with light. Many people who suffer from SAD get relief by using a light box for 30 minutes each morning.
Don’t Neglect Exercise
When it’s nasty outside, the last thing you feel like doing is exercising. However, getting some exercise in the fresh air will give you more energy. Bundle up if you have to, and talk a walk or run. Visit your neighbors or play games with the family.
Keep a Journal
Writing down your feelings is a good way to relieve stress and isolation, and you may find that it’s not just the dreary season of the year that is bothering you. Maybe there is a problem at work or in your relationships with family and friends.