Seasonal affective disorder, which is also known as SAD, is a problem that affects about 5 percent of the population. It is a form of depression that occurs during the winter months. Many people have SAD every year. However, it will be different this year because of the Covid pandemic.
How to Know If You Have SAD
The symptoms of SAD are similar to the symptoms of general depression. You may experience the following if you have SAD.
- Feeling depressed or sad
- Loss of energy
- Experiencing a loss in interests and activities
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of suicide
It is important to note that there is a difference between winter blues and SAD. If you have winter blues, then you may feel down. However, it won’t interfere with your daily functioning. SAD may interfere with your day-to-day functioning.
Ways to Cope With SAD This Year
It will be a lot harder for you to cope with SAD this year. However, there are still some things that you can do in order to manage it. Your Talkspace therapist recommends that you do the following.
Acknowledge Your Emotions And Accept Them
One of the best things that you can do to deal with your emotions is to acknowledge them and accept them. Pretending your feelings do not exist will not make them go away. If you acknowledge them, then you will be able to make positive changes.
It can be difficult for you to do anything when you are depressed. However, a Talkspace therapist will tell you that getting up and doing things will make it easier for you to cope with your depression. You don’t have to do anything major. Simply getting up and brushing your teeth can help you feel better.
Take Time to Unplug
If you are constantly filling your mind with negative news, then this can have a negative impact on your mental health. That is why it is important for you to take the time to unplug. You will also need to turn off your television and get off social media.
The lack of daylight hours can trigger SAD. Light therapy can treat SAD by providing you with an alternative to sunlight. You should use a SAD lamp 20 minutes every day. You should notice the results within a week or two.
Get a Support Network
Depression is not something that you have to go through alone. Your family members and friends can help you get through this difficult time. You should open up to them and explain how you feel. You may feel a burden lift off of you.
Consider Medication And Therapy
There is nothing wrong with getting treatment for SAD. Medication and therapy can help you feel a lot better. Antidepressants can help regulate your mood. Your Talkspace therapist can teach you how to manage your depression. They can also teach how to change your thoughts and behaviors.