What is SAD? Do you have it?

SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder. Have you ever heard of it? Many suffer from this disorder, and it is very common here in the Pacific Northwest. Living further away from the equator makes us have less winter daylight hours. SAD is depression related to the changing of seasons, and is very evident during the winter months (starting at the end of fall). It is less likely that SAD impacts others in the spring and summer months. College students suffer from SAD but there are some ways to alleviate the symptoms.

Here are some steps you can take to help lighten up your mood and motivate you:

  • Exercise: Exercising can relieve stress and can help organize your time. Exercising can also reduce depression.
  • Light therapy: There are lights designed to release the same amount of light as natural outdoor light, lightening your mood. These can also be known as happy lights. Sitting in front of one of these lights for even 30 minutes can help reduce depression.
  • Going outside: Even though the outdoors might be the reason why you are feeling down, it is always good to get some fresh air and maybe take a walk.
  • Socialize: Getting out there and hanging out with friends can take your mind off of SAD. Having some company is always nice as well!
  • Take a trip: This is a temporary fix, but if you have a break, you can travel to another place that has more sun and warmth.
  • Living in Oregon, we barely get enough vitamin D so taking a supplement of vitamin D can help. Vitamin D won’t help depression, but it will give us the level of sunlight we usually should receive from the sun.
  • If one highly suffers from SAD, there are also medications that can be prescribed but be sure to try the above remedies before medicating!
  • Talking to a doctor about SAD can always help and maybe they will have more suggestions for you to try.

Try these remedies and spring/summer will quickly approach in no time!

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