If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder like myself, and many others you may be in a really dark place—literally and figuratively—by the time February rolls around. It’s a tough disorder that is oftentimes misdiagnosed. So if you have depression that gets worse during these long, dark winter months, I encourage you to get checked by your physician. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are effective therapies including the below listed that can dramatically improve your depression, productivity and happiness.
Here are my top 3 tips to help fight S.A.D. that I have found personally helpful both to myself and my clients that suffer from S.A.D.
- Light therapy box. Light therapy boxes may offer an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder. A light therapy box is a device used mainly to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression. Its use is also being studied in other types of depression. Light therapy mimics outdoor light. This causes a biochemical change in your brain that lifts your mood and reduces symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Light therapy boxes are also known as light boxes, bright light therapy boxes and phototherapy boxes. You can buy a light therapy box over-the-counter, without a doctor’s prescription. Internet retailers, drugstores and even some hardware stores offer a wide variety of light therapy boxes and other light devices for seasonal affective disorder treatment. But take caution before buying. Not all light therapy boxes being sold have been tested to make sure they’re safe and effective. Features such as light intensity, safety, cost, and style are important considerations when you buy a light box. And different light boxes work in different ways, using different parts of the light spectrum and offering different illumination intensities. That’s why it’s important to understand what you’re buying and what features to consider. *Check with your health professional before buying a light therapy box.
Exercise regularly. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. Being more fit along with keeping your weight in check will make you feel better about yourself, too, which will lift your mood. Working out aerobically will make your body pump out feel good endorphins, which are your body’s best mood elevators or natural anti-depressants.
*Consider wearing happy colors—especially pink—when you are working out. See my side bar about the color PINK:)!
- Get outside and get 30 minutes of sun every day. Listen, I know that when it’s cold outside all you may want to do is stay inside. However, bundling up for a 30-minute walk will let the sun shine bright on your face, burn calories, and make your body pump endorphins. Try holding 2-pound dumbbells in your hands to involve your upper core, shoulders, and arms. It will increase your calorie burn by 33%. Or try snowshoeing or Nordic walking by adding ski poles, as you’ll also work your entire upper body and again burn 33% more calories. I promise you’ll feel so much better and invigorated after your walk outside. Recruit a walking buddy to talk it out too and lift your mood.
*Did you know that pink is a woman’s favorite color, followed by purple, and then blue? Pink is the color most commonly associated with femininity. In the 20th century, pink was dramatically introduced into the modern woman’s wardrobe, because of the invention of chemical fabric dyes that didn’t fade. Garments became bolder, brighter and more assertive coinciding with the women’s movement for equality. Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli (1890-1973) pioneered a new wave of pinks that was also closely aligned with the artists of the surrealist movement. In 1931, she created a new color—Shocking Pink—made by mixing magenta with a small amount of white. It is the inspiration for our new fuchsia. (She also created a scandal by launching a perfume of the same name, sold in a bottle in the shape of a woman's bust.) Long live brave, creative and interesting women!
THE MEANING OF PINK AROUND THE GLOBE
- The pink ribbon is an internationally recognized symbol of hope and awareness in the fight against breast cancer.
- Pastries taste better when they come out of pink boxes or served on pink plates. (It only works with sweets).
- Carrie, Sex and the City’s fictional fashion obsessed TV character portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker, was dressed in pink.
- “In the pink” refers to a healthy glow! That’s why we’ve weaved soft and bold pinks into our new styles. And wearing the soft and bold tones of this gorgeous color makes us feel both feminine and fierce. And that just might help empower us to run a little faster and farther or hit that boxing bag a little harder...