Most people associate Seasonal Affective Disorder with the dark days of winter, but did you know that 10% of people with the disorder also suffer through the brightest days of the year? Transitioning to longer days and increased sunlight can affect our circadian rhythm, in turn, causing the following symptoms:
-Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
-Changes in appetite and sleep
Here are some ways to manage these symptoms, as suggested in a recent blog post by Flat Iron Counseling:
1) Self- talk: Find and use a mantra that will turn the volume down on the negativity. For example, shifting from “I feel so depressed” to “this feeling will pass,” can influence your mood.
2) Physical activity: While going to the gym and working out can really boost your mood, even a 10-minute walk can improve your mood.
3.) Get outdoors: Spending time outdoors hiking, running, walking, kayaking, etc. exposes yourself to more Vitamin D, which is important for moods and general health of our bodies.
4.) Find a hobby: Even though this may be the last thing you want to do, it is one of the most important.Whether it is connecting with a friend or an activity, you once enjoyed, getting a distraction from focusing on your inner state can bring relief.
5.) Volunteer: When we are focused on others, our mindset and perspective on life is changed. Many businesses and groups need volunteers – hospitals, libraries, and shelters, to name a few. Volunteering helps you to occupy your time while helping someone else.
If you find that you are still struggling with these feelings, schedule an appointment with one of our therapists.
Sources: Flat Iron Counseling (www.flatironcounseling.com); Live Happy Magazine (www.livehappy.com)