DEALING WITH SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) — HOW TO COPE
I wanted to post something quick and informal on this topic so Ello it is!
Every year around this time I struggle to keep up my momentum. Most of the time it's just a matter of pushing through, but some years, particularly if I am under a lot of stress, it can be a real challenge for me to keep my energy and mood up!
I do not take medication but I do have a few coping strategies that make a huge difference for me that I would like to pass on. I also wrote about this topic on my blog during last year's Polar Vortex.
1. I move my workspace to the brightest part of the house.
I work from home, so this is a lucky advantage. I’ve had offices that were really dark and I remember the days of driving to work in the dark and returning in the dark and working all day in the dark and how brutal that was! I find that getting next to a window helps my energy level.
2. I exercise—and I’m not talking a pounding at the gym either.
The dogs get me out a few times a day, and I consider a walk around the block therapeutic, for both the dogs and me! I used to think I had to kill myself in the gym to get the benefits of exercise and I took a very all or nothing attitude. However, in terms of basic health requirements, a brisk 20 minute walk can make a huge difference my attitude.
3. I use a blue light.
The one I have is made by Phillips and is called goLite. These lights used to be really expensive but they’ve come down in price a lot. I recommend putting one on your desk and using it in the morning for at least 20 minutes.
4. I take 5000-10,000 units of Vitamin D.
I have found that a raw vitamin D is the most helpful. I personally think vitamin D is just as powerful as a low dose of Prozac.
5. I work harder to stay positive.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I am a realist and sometimes reality is a bitch. Lately, I’ve been doing all the cheesy things that ordinarily annoy the piss out of me—because they seem cheesy! I read affirmations and leave myself positive reminders on sticky notes. I recommend checking out the #affirmation hashtag on Twitter if you’re looking for ideas.
6. I don’t let bullshit get me down.
I let the bad stuff roll and I keep moving. There are always going to be rude people and crappy situations. It’s generally better to keep moving forward, even when you’re not exactly sure what the solution is. Don't allow yourself to be held hostage by negative people or circumstances.
7. Even when life is busy and your mood is in the toilet, take two seconds to have some fun. That’s what I did with my impromptu Halloween getup. I didn’t have time to go out that night, but I did hand out Halloween candy and had some fun visiting with neighbors.
8. Reach out. Tell people you’re having a hard time. If you don’t feel comfortable with that, try to keep your calendar as full as possible. Staying busy is good therapy.
If all that fails, tell yourself it's only a cycle and that it will get better!
I hope this helps someone! ~TC