Many people feel a little sad when summer comes to an end and a long season of cold weather is approaching. Seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (otherwise known as SAD) is a type of depression that happens at certain times of the year, usually in the fall and winter. The symptoms are pretty much the same other types of depression including less energy, irritability and loss of interest in things that once made you happy.
If you’re feeling any of these symptoms already or they sound familiar from last year, there are a few things you can do to prevent SAD from getting worse and make yourself feel better.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Exercise not only helps to improve your physical health and reduce your risks for a number of chronic diseases, but it’s been shown to be a great mood booster.
Try Light Therapy
This has been tested as an effective treatment for SAD because it tricks the body into thinking the days are longer and brighter than they really are. It involves sitting under a special bright light for a certain amount of time each day. You could ask your health care provider about this or just try to get as much sunlight as you can outdoors every day and keep your curtains and blinds open to let the light in.
If you tend to make excuses for not going out in the fall and winter, you need to get yourself out of that habit. Keeping to yourself will only make you feel lonely and that’s what you’re trying to avoid so pick up the phone and call a friend or family member – make plans to go out for lunch and/or for a nice walk.
If you think you might suffer from seasonal depression and might be interested in light therapy, the Temagami FHT has a SAD light that is available free of charge for our rostered patients to use. Just call the office to schedule a time. We also have a 24/7 fitness centre available at very low membership rates, i.e. $20 per month for an adult, $12 for a senior or $15 for students.
The Temagami Medical Centre and Family Health Team
is committed to keeping you as healthy as possible!