“Summertime Sadness” is not just a song by Lana Del Rey. It is a mood disorder also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), seasonal depression, winter/summer depression, winter blues. People with SAD experience depressive disorder when the seasons change, typically in winter or summer. How to cope with SAD?
Winter-based SAD is considered “classic”, because depressive symptoms are typically triggered by the lack of light and cold weather. However, people who live in warmer climates can suffer from summer depression. It is believed to be triggered by humidity and heat. As any other form of depression, SAD has a negative effect on the quality of people's lives, so it should be treated. How to cope with seasonal depression?
Consult with a professional. Mood disorders are not something to be taken lightly. If you are feeling depressed in winter or summer, you need to see a mental health professional. Having a mood disorder doesn't make you insane, but you still need professional help. Therapy will make coping with SAD much easier.
Take your medicines. If your doctor thinks that you need medicines to cope with SAD, you need to follow their directions and take all required medicines. Sometimes vitamins and other diet supplements are enough to handle the symptoms, but if you have a serious case of SAD, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants. However, you shouldn't take over-the-counter drugs without consulting a professional first.
Exercise. Physical exercise will make your body produce endorphins, which make us happier. Outdoor exercise is preferable, but if you can't exercise outside because the weather is too cold/hot/snowy/humid, you can hit the gym. You should also get enough sleep and eat healthy foods.
Let the sunshine in. If you have winter blues, you need as much sunshine as possible. Get outside whenever you can and keep the curtains/blinds open to let the sunshine into your apartment. If the sky is constantly overcast, you can use special gadgets such as light therapy boxes and dawn simulators.
Take a vacation. If the weather makes you feel depressed, take a vacation and visit a country with a different climate. Sick and tired of the cold weather and gray skies? Go to a country with a warmer climate. Can't stand the head and humidity? There are many countries where the weather in summer is more bearable.
Do what you like. Engaging in activities that you enjoy will help take your mind off depressive thoughts. Take up a hobby, spend more time with your family and friends. If you always have something to do, you won't have time for being sad.
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