5 Ways to Cope with Seasonal Depression

Hello friends! We are through the holidays and now into the grey days of January. This time of year can be very difficult for a lot of people. What is seasonal depression? Seasonal depression is when someone experiences depression symptoms at roughly the same time each year. Most commonly this happens in the fall and winter months, but it can also happen in the spring and summer as well. Many people report that the shorter days and less day light contribute to their depression symptoms in the fall and winter. Here are 5 ways to cope with seasonal depression:

  1. Increase cardio exercise

    Cardio exercise has been shown to treat mild to moderate depression as well as medication. Try to add in cardio exercise 3-4 times per week.

  2. Try light therapy

    I always recommend trying a light therapy box to my patients who have seasonal depression that is triggered in the fall and winter months. With the decrease in day light hours, most of us have a drop in our vitamin D which can affect mood. Light therapy boxes can stimulate healthy production of vitamin D.

  3. Find a therapist

    Talk therapy can be very helpful for people with seasonal depression. Therapists can help you process uncomfortable feelings, reframe negative thinking that could be contributing to the depression, and help you identify behaviors that can help relieve the depression as well.

  4. Stay connected to others

    Depression tends to cause people to isolate, which furthers the depressive cycle and only makes you feel worse. If you are experiencing seasonal depression make sure you are reaching out to your family and friends and staying connected.

  5. Consider medication

    Many people find that medication can be very helpful in treating seasonal depression. If the depression is impairing your ability to go to work, of fulfill other responsibilities in your life, it may be time to try medication.

    I hope these tips are helpful in treating seasonal depression. If you are noticing suicidal thoughts, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.