A person bundled up at a snowy bus stop next to an ad for a tropical vacation

Dealing with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

Living in the north part of the country and in the Midwest, I definitely experience SAD (or seasonal affective disorder). They say many get sad, depressed, anxious, and become less active due to lack of sun and light. Well, I’m here to tell you YES, it’s true and I get it EVERY year. It sure doesn’t help when I’m already dealing with my lung cancer and still mourning the loss of my mom, so you know I’m a hot mess.

Waiting for daylight saving time

In November when it’s time to turn our clocks back, oh boy that darkness that comes before 5pm really does something to me and the sadness begins. The whole winter I’m so looking forward to daylight saving time and the sun beaming on my face!

I've been with my husband for over 30 years and every year around this time I tell him can we PLEASE move south where it’s sunny, and the weather is nicer. He tells me “here we go again” so I guess I’m not moving, huh!

How do I cope with SAD?

So, this is how I deal with SAD:

  • I continue to work out 3x or more a week and believe me when I say working out is absolutely great for dealing with SAD and any type of depression. It builds my self-esteem and motivates me to keep moving.
  • During the winter months I watch nothing but comedy movies. Why? Because laughter is the best medicine for depression and it livens up my mood.
  • I don’t like the cold and hate the snow but every weekend we try to go out and do something. We go to the movies, shopping even if I don’t buy anything it’s ok to browse, go to dinner and have a date night. We live a few minutes away from Chicago, so we’ll go to the city to just look, walk or eat at our favorite restaurants. We get together every Thursday with another couple and go to a nearby brewery and try the different types of craft beer and meads. We try to do fun things every weekend to brighten up the winter months.
  • If you have a hobby do more of it. It’ll keep you entertained and maybe you can sell some of it and make a little extra cash during the winter months.
  • I love candles and wax burners, so I turn on my candles or put a few waxes on my burner and my house fills up with a great aroma. Since it’s the winter months turn on your wax burner or candles with summer-like scents.
  • Aromatherapy is also AMAZING! I have several different essential oils and it brightens up my mood. I usually go to my room, put on some soft music, put a few drops of essential oil in my diffuser, and turn that baby on.
  • When the sun is shining bright during the cold months, I open up the curtains and let all the sunshine in and I’ll sit and just enjoy the sunlight.
  • If you can take a vacation and go somewhere to get some sun and enjoy their warm weather. Or plan a “staycation”.
  • Take plenty of Vitamin D3.
  • Start journaling and writing down your thoughts, emotions, or daily activities.
  • One of my favorites that helped me is listening to frequencies before I fall asleep. When getting ready for bed I charge my phone and go to YouTube or Spotify and type in frequency and you’ll get a list to listen to. Pick whichever you want, start playing it, lie down and close your eyes. Before you know it, you’re sound asleep and you’ll wake up in such a better mood!

If you experience SAD during the darker winter months, what helps you combat depression, stress, or anxiety? Share your recommendations in the comments!

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