The seasonal affective disorder is known as a form of seasonal depression that occurs every year at the same time, normally from September to April. The disorder occurs in some certain adults but more in women and also occurs in the children. If your appetite, mood, and sleep patterns change in the winter months every year, you may suffer from the seasonal affective disorder that is consequently called winter blues.
While the depression always causes you much inconvenience in the whole life, it is necessary to find out the seasonal affective disorder treatments as soon as possible. To realize this form of depression, you can depend on some symptoms including depression and anxiety, low energy levels, summer mood swings, eating more than usual as well as weight gain, sleeping more than usual, difficulty concentrating, losing interest in daily activities, and losing interests in sex.
This is time to show you 14 effective seasonal affective disorder treatments at home. All of the treatments including both the natural remedies and professional medication have been investigated and used for a long time. For those who are suffering from the seasonal affective disorder or taking care of someone with this order, spend a few minutes reading our article to have more experience!
- Light Boxes
Lightboxes are considered as the first seasonal affective disorder treatments. Those boxes supply the light mimicking the sunshine to make you recover from the seasonal affective disorder. And the light is supplied in different wavelengths also considerably brighter than the regular bulb light. For those with the seasonal affective disorder, sitting in front of this kind of boxes is recommended for about a half to an hour, especially in the morning, which depends on each condition. By this way, the circadian rhythms of the body will be stimulated while the release of melatonin will also be suppressed.
According to research before, the majority of people with the seasonal affective disorder in the winter months or the winter blues got relief from the use of light boxes on a regular basis. The concentration of light helps the users improve their mood. Most of the symptoms were removed after 2 weeks of using the light boxes as the seasonal affective disorder treatments.
- Follow Right Eating Habit
Following a right eating habit is another of the seasonal affective disorder treatments. In fact, the patients with the disorder ask for more foods, particularly soft drinks and junk foods that are all high in sugar level as carbohydrates are necessary to increase energy levels when they are down.
However, they should follow a better eating strategy in which they consume larger portions of rice and pasta or other foods with complex carbohydrates along with healthy simple carbohydrates including vegetables, fruits and their fresh juices before or during meals. Moreover, they should avoid unhealthy snacks that can give momentary relief more likely decrease your energy level and cause weight gain as well. In other words, weight gain is a reason lowering your self-esteem and worsening your depression.
- Have Sound Sleep
Not only eating but sleeping habit also plays an important role as one of the seasonal affective disorder treatments. You may realize that lacking sleep can cause regular depression even anxiety, which is also the reason why you should sleep enough every day. Additionally, an unhealthy sleeping habit may limit the time you expose to the sunshine, which is particularly not good for those with the seasonal affective disorder. In other words, the patients of this disorder should try to expose much to the sunshine, especially in the early morning. By walking outside or opening the windows after waking up in the morning as examples.
Advice for you is maintaining 8 hours sleeping a day because oversleeping and sleep-waking schedule can cause an increase in the melatonin levels thereby contributing to the depression. Hence, you need to set up a schedule to follow every day, which may help increase energy for you as well as reduce the feelings of depression.
- Do Exercises
Doing exercises is another of the seasonal affective disorder treatments for you to follow. The reason is that exercise can help you deal with the feeling of depression, reduce stress, and improve your mood, which may be useful for those with the winter blues.
According to the research before, doing exercises just for an hour can give you the same benefits as the indoor light treatment for 2.5 hours. For example, you can do aerobic exercises that can effectively help you get rid of depression while still improving your flexibility. Moreover, you can take a walk, take a run, participate in a snowball fight, or ski as dynamic seasonal affective disorder treatments. And if you like light activities, you can follow a yoga course that also helps you deal with the feelings of depression.
- Follow A Schedule
Following a schedule is a necessity for treating the seasonal affective disorder. In fact, people who suffer from the disorder find difficulty sleeping at night and waking up in the morning, so they should maintain a regular schedule to reduce the symptoms of the winter blues.
Following a good schedule means not only keeping sleeping and waking time every day but also exposing yourself to the sunlight at consistent times. Because the patients with seasonal affective disorder find it easy to gain weight, you should remove the overconsumption of food such as by eating at regular intervals a day and avoiding consuming foods at night.
- Expose To The Sunshine
As mentioned above, exposing the body to the sunshine is effective for those with the seasonal affective disorder, so you should let the sunshine be absorbed in the body. If it is winter, you should get outside as much as possible to take advantage of the natural sunlight. Moreover, you need to bundle up if the weather is cold and avoid exposing yourself too much at noon or afterward because it is when the sun is brightest.
Another advice for you is to keep your room open to let as much as light in as possible. In brief, the patients with seasonal affective disorder always need bright environments.
- Use Dawn Simulators
The seasonal affective disorder treatments also include the use of dawn simulators that plays a role as alarm clocks by not only waking you up with beeping or attractive music but also supply you with light whose intensity gradually increases like the sunshine. And the studies before have also indicated that these dawn simulators are as effective as other light treatments.
In fact, there are some different designs of dawn simulators available on the market, but you should use ones with full-spectrum light because it is similar to the natural light the most.
- Consume Antidepressants
In some severe cases which cannot be solved by light treatments or psychotherapy, the patients with seasonal affective disorder need the aid of medication, particularly antidepressants. Antidepressants can help you overcome the feeling of depression and boost your mood, so they are often used as seasonal affective disorder treatments. However, it is advised to avoid the medications that make you sleepy because this kind of drugs can give bad effects to your nervous system as well. According to the specialists, the patients with the disorder should be aware the time it starts occurring so that asking your doctor for suitable prescriptions before it escalates.
In fact, some drugs like Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac are all effective in those with the winter blues. And medication St. John’s wort has also been indicated to relieve the symptoms of the seasonal affective disorder as well.
- Get More Vitamin D
If the exposure to the sunshine does not give you relief from the disorder, you can get more vitamin D as one of the seasonal affective disorder treatments. According to the research before, the low levels of this vitamin is associated with the occurrence of the disorder, which means if you take in an adequate amount of vitamin D, you may experience an improvement in your depression.
To be more careful, you should ask your doctor about checking your vitamin D levels since then deciding whether the supplements are necessary or not. Along with the aid of supplements, you can get more vitamin D from some certain foods beneficial for your health as well.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy may not be strange for those with a nerve problem, and it is also one of the seasonal affective disorder treatments. The right therapy can help you remove negative thoughts, behaviors, and attitudes that make your condition worse while allowing you to learn how to manage and deal with its symptoms in healthy ways. Cognitive behavioral therapy is highly appreciated by many people because it is also effective in treating the seasonal affective disorder and does not leave any risky side-effects later.
Aromatherapy has been widely used to deal with stress because it is effective and safe as well. The therapy is therefore abused to treat the seasonal affective disorder by using essential oils that influence in the brain where plays a role in controlling your moods and in the internal clock that manages your sleeping and appetite habits.
To apply aromatherapy to the seasonal affective disorder treatments, you should add some essential oils to the bathtub and soak in it to make you relaxed. For example, essential oils extracted from poplar tree have been indicated to deal with depressive disorders effectively.
- Keep A Journal
Keeping a journal is also recommended as one of the seasonal affective disorder treatments. For this purpose, you should write down your thoughts, which may give you relief in negative feelings and bring you positive effects on your system.
It has been advised that the patients of the winter blues should write for about 20 minutes every day, which includes their feelings, thoughts, and concerns. Night time may be the best time to do this because it is quite and you can notice all the things happening on the last day long.
- Take A Vacation
Traveling is always chosen as a good way to remove depression. For the seasonal affective disorder treatments, they can take a winter vacation in the warmer climates, which can help them remove the negative energy out of the body. Not only does traveling allow you to have a rest of your busy schedule but it also gives you a chance escaping the cold and overcast sky. By this way, your spirit can also be lifted and just a few days in the sunshine can be effective for the winter depression.
In fact, the excitement starts when you prepare for the vacation to a few weeks afterward, which certainly improves your mood. For this reason, you should invite your friends to participate in the vacation with you if possible.
- Talk To Doctor
Coming to see a doctor may be the final one of the seasonal affective disorder treatments. Because the disorder is related to depression, the patients should be diagnosed by a mental health professional. By this way, you will be asked a list of questions so that you will be diagnosed whether to have the seasonal affective disorder or another form of depression as well.
Moreover, you should read more articles or magazines associated with health problems, which may help you consider which disorder is occurring in you and coming to see a doctor as soon as possible. In fact, there are many cases in which the patients with the disorder realize their problems after following the information in the media.
After reading the article on 14 effective seasonal affective disorder treatments at home, hope that you can know how to treat this form of depression effectively with both the natural and professional methods. Please let us know if you have any question by leaving them below and share with us other treatments for seasonal affective disorder if you get.
This guest post is by Hang Pham, a blogger with many years of experience in searching the best natural home remedies for health and beauty issues.