Things change as the winter months roll by and days get darker. While some people love the winter, it can negatively affect people with seasonal depression. This disorder is widely known as a seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.
Melissa Dowd, a therapist and therapy lead for virtual health platform PlushCare, explained how it happens “depression gets triggered by a change in seasons, primarily beginning in the fall through winter months.”
People with SAD experience symptoms like withdrawal from society, appetite changes, and oversleeping, along with other depression symptoms. While there could be various reasons people experience this, Dowd explains that studies show that cold weather, reduced daylight, and shorter days can trigger SAD symptoms. Shorter days can mess with your circadian rhythm or biological clock.
SAD is ubiquitous and can affect anyone, including therapists and people who are practicing mental health professionals. Here’s how they deal with it:
- Plan your life around self-care
- Accept your state of mind at any given moment while knowing you are doing the best you can
- Use a layered approach to cope
- Express your emotions artistically
- Change your diet, if necessary
- Be like a flower and get some sunlight
- Go on a holiday
- Organize your workspace to help you function better
- Look for simple pleasures like a Pumpkin Spice Latte or a good playlist
- Reach out for help. Your friends and family are there for you. But you need to let them know you need help. Don’t be afraid to reach out!