Beating the blues: How to cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Learn how to stay active and productive during dreary weather to combat symptoms of SAD.
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As the weather changes and the days become shorter and drearier, many people may find themselves feeling less active and more depressed.
This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It’s a type of depression that can be triggered by changes in seasons and weather conditions.
According to Macon resident Wayne Dobson, dreary weather can be depressing for some people.
“They might watch a movie, catch up on their shows or something like that,” he said. “Some people might just sleep in.”
Dobson has dealt with seasonal depression himself but has found ways to “beat the seasonal blues” by catching up on his writing.
“Dreary days are kind of a break from the norm,” he said. “In days like this, I enjoy writing and things like that. I like to brew a good pot of coffee and just sit back and spend the day writing.”
According to Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Piedmont Macon Behavioral Health, Bruce Conn, SAD is caused by having less sunlight during certain weather changes. He suggests one of the best things to do is find a way to stay active while being indoors.
“Having some structure and finding ways to be productive,” Conn said. “I’m going to do this morning, I’m going to do this and I’m going to do this. You know, I’m going to spend time with this friend and tonight I’m going to bed on time. That sort of normal structure will help pull us through this dreary time.”
Another way to help counter the effects of SAD is through light therapy. This involves exposing yourself to bright light for a specific amount of time each day. This can help lift your mood and improve brain function.
Productive activities such as coloring and mind games can also help counteract symptoms of depression.
“What we need to do is work against that,” Conn said. “So call the friend, do the chore, do the fun thing, and that may be as simple as coloring or Sudoku or whatever may be fun for you.”
For more tips, contact your primary care physician.