As summer comes to an end, it’s essential to prepare for the upcoming months and the possibility of experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that affects many people during the winter months. The symptoms of SAD can vary from person to person but may include feelings of sadness, fatigue, and social withdrawal. It’s important to take the signs and symptoms of SAD seriously because it can get worse if left untreated. Untreated, SAD can also lead to other mental health problems such as anxiety, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts or behavior.

SAD is a mood disorder brought on by the changing of seasons. It can be triggered by reduced levels of sunlight or increased levels of sunlight depending on which season a person is more prone to SAD. Women tend to be diagnosed with SAD more than men, and it appears to affect younger adults more frequently than older adults. There are other factors that can increase the risk such as family history of SAD or other types of depression, having a major depression or bipolar disorder, living far from the equator, and having low levels of vitamin D.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent SAD:

  1. Spend time outdoors: Spending time outside can help boost your mood and increase vitamin D levels. Even on cloudy days, natural light can help regulate your body’s internal clock.
  2. Exercise regularly: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your overall mood. It can also help regulate your sleep patterns, which can be disrupted by SAD.
  3. Light therapy: Light therapy involves sitting in front of a lightbox that emits bright light that mimics natural outdoor light. It can help regulate your circadian rhythm and boost your mood.
  4. Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet can help support your overall health and well-being. Avoid consuming too much sugar and caffeine, which can exacerbate symptoms of depression.
  5. Practice stress management techniques: Engage in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to help reduce stress. Stress can worsen symptoms of SAD.

Remember, if you or someone you know is showing signs of SAD, learning more about the causes and how to cope can help to ease symptoms. Vitamin B3-B9, Vitamin D, and Melatonin are some supplements that can help bring your body out of a deficiency and boost you to cope with seasonal depression.

Apart from taking care of oneself, leaders should also educate their employees about SAD, its causes and coping strategies. Empathetic communication and support from leaders can help employees feel understood and valued. Encouraging a balance between work and personal life, providing flexibility, conducting regular check-ins, and encouraging employees to take breaks can help reduce stress levels. Leaders should also ensure that their employees have access to suitable equipment, materials, and services to support their safety while working from home or in the physical workplace.

Seasonal depression is a real disorder that affects many people during the winter months. By educating yourself and others about SAD, taking steps to prevent it, and providing support to those who are affected by it, you can reduce its impact on your life and the lives of those around you. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Remember Self-Care is the Best Care. Why Wait. Start N.O.W