How to Cure Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
I live in the great White North. It’s a great place to be for the most part because it is fresh and clean, a place where the power of nature still reigns, and her splendor is still in great evidence. Unfortunately living in the great White North means that I don’t get very much sunlight throughout the year. I have a naturally dark complexion, and as a result I suffer yearly from ‘seasonal affective disorder’. Because this is the case I have learnt some techniques and created others to deal with this pressing disorder that affects many people throughout the world.
It is possible that you might be suffering from seasonal affective disorder and you don’t even realize it. If you don’t know what SAD is then you might even believe that you’re going through some kind of depression which might have you swallowing some chemical drug that you don’t even need. Here are some of the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder:
• Sleepy, lacking in energy, and unable to get going on anything
• You can’t sleep at night but you seem to be sleepy all day
• Loss of sex drive, and not interested in any kind of socializing
• Anxiety, feeling stressed out like you can’t cope
• Angry and irritated at the world
• Depression, feeling gloomy for no apparent reason
• Increased appetite, especially for carbohydrates and treats
# You can overcome these symptoms and you don’t need to take any chemical drugs to do it. One of the best ways to deal with ‘seasonal affective disorder’ is to get yourself what I refer to as SAD light. You can either get yourself a light unit or you can get yourself just one light-bulb and change it with a bulb from a light in your house. In order for this like to be able to help relieve your seasonal affective disorder, you have to make sure that you get a full-spectrum light. What this means is that it is light that covers as much of the electromagnetic spectrum as possible. Most light has very little power and does not give you the full spectrum coverage that you need to stay healthy. Full-spectrum light on the other hand is far more powerful and can go far enough into the Ultraviolet and Infrared spectrum to give you the energy that you need to stay happy and healthy.
If you are having some money trouble, I suggest that you try and just get a bulb so that you can get all the coverage that you need while you are at home doing whatever you want. I have tried this method myself and the only problem that I had with it was the fact that I was getting light overload because this was a light that I kept on constantly. Another cheap method of getting the light that you need, is to go to a home and garden store that sells indoor lights for plants. These lights will have the full-spectrum coverage that you need and will usually cost far less than lights created for human seasonal affective disorder. The only thing about using plant lights is that they tend to be not as sturdy as official seasonal affective disorder lights, and it is also the case that you can only use these lights for a maximum of 15 to 30 minutes. You can only use these lights for that period of time because they tend to be far more powerful, with little or no filtration, and can damage your eyes and skin if you are overexposed to them.
# While I do have a special seasonal affective disorder light, I seldom use it anymore. I have developed my own ways to deal with the low light levels of where I live. One of the best methods that I have to deal with SAD, is to try and exercise on a regular basis. This is probably the best way that you can deal with SAD because it is so good for you in so many ways. Exercise is able to help you with seasonal affective disorder because it relieves stress and anxiety which can be a symptom of this disorder. Exercise can also help you deal with this disorder because the act of exercising allows your body to release endorphins, these are natural feel-good chemicals that your brain releases whenever you do a workout. The best exercise that I can think of for seasonal affective disorder, is to put on some good music and start dancing to it for a good 15 to 30 minutes, at least three times a week. The music will make you happy and the exercise will help you by reducing stress and creating feel-good chemicals in your brain.
# I also try to make sure that I take vitamin D on a regular basis. Vitamin D is an incredibly important supplement to anyone who lives in an area where sunlight is somewhat scarce. The darker your complexion, the more vitamin D that you should be taking. I personally try to take 1000 UI every day during the winter.
# Another thing that I do in order to overcome seasonal affective disorder is to put up Christmas lights inside the house in late fall or winter. One of the things that I really miss when light levels become very low, is the ability to see brightly colored objects. By putting up Christmas lights inside my house that have a lot of reds, purples and bright yellows, I am able to satisfy my need to see these colors. If you put up led Christmas lights, they will not be as powerful and the light from them will seem a bit cold but they are definitely far more energy efficient. You can put up as many lights as you want just make sure that you unplug them whenever you go out of the house.
# One of the best techniques that I use to get over seasonal affective disease, is to wear a pair of yellow tinted glasses. I essentially went to a hardware store here and bought myself a pair of construction glasses that had yellow colored lenses. They are definitely not the most stylish pair of sunglasses you have ever seen, but they work amazingly well to make me feel better during those gloomy days. I put them on whenever I go outside and they make everything seem much better. They amplify whatever light is around and they make everything seem more colorful and beautiful. The only downside to them is having to take them off which can re-accentuate the grayness of the day. But this is a minor side effect compared to the benefits of wearing them on an overcast day.
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, then I recommend that you try the techniques above. They have all helped me to greatly decrease any moody blues that I experienced during the winter months.
thanks for ur blog. It really helps. Is there any permanent cure?
Thank you for your kind comments. Unfortunately there is no permanent cure that I know of, it seems that the only relief from this disorder comes with time. Over time your body will get used to the rhythm of the seasons where you live, and there will be less of a shock to your system.
The best way to deal with this disorder on a personal level is to make it a fun activity to overcome. Try to figure out ways to get yourself going; for example I have a friend who takes dance classes every single winter season and uses winter as an excuse to treat herself to sun tanning sessions and at least one spa day a month.
I also have friends that make sure that they take at least one weeks vacation during the winter and take off to an all inclusive somewhere sunny like Cuba or Mexico (these all-inclusive’s are not as expensive as you might think). Mind you we don’t all have the ability to afford a vacation on a regular basis but if you know that you’ll be living in a place with low light for a long time, it might be a good idea for you to start a little savings account so that you can put away a little bit each month and have enough to take off for a week or two to recharge your batteries, every winter.
Thanks John. This is really helpful.
Your welcome 🙂
Many people have not yet realized that sunlight is our friend! Many are still slathering on that so-called sunscreen lotion which is so full of nanoparticles they develop skin cancer.
Great tips and ideas – that work – on overcoming the SAD. They work! Thanks!