How to Manage and Treat SAD
If you have been diagnosed with SAD, there are multiple ways you can manage and treat your depression. Dr. Yeager recommends doing the following:
- Take a daily walk outside to boost your mood within a few hours of waking up since exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals that create a positive, euphoric feeling in the body. It's important to walk in the morning because the morning sunlight exposure will keep your body's clock on track, Dr. Yeager explained.
- Make sure your office and home have lots of natural light. If you don't have a lot of natural light sources in your home, Dr. Yeager recommends buying a light box, which mimics natural light outdoors, and place it by your desk or chair for 30 minutes each day. "The light box turns off melatonin production and helps boost the serotonin in your body," Dr. Yeager said.
- Dr. Yeager also recommends asking your doctor about vitamin D supplementation; according to the NIMH, "the evidence for its use has been mixed."
- "Stay social and active through the stretches of cold, rain, and gray. Sign up for a class, recruit an exercise buddy, or schedule regular outings with friends," Dr. Yeager said.
- If you have the means, he also recommends taking a vacation to somewhere with lots of sun.