How To Beat The Winter Blues

March 03, 2021 4 min read


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

If you suffer from serious seasonal depression, otherwise known as SAD or seasonal affective disorder, you may be wondering how to beat the winter blues. Winter depression can drag anyone into its depths, but to someone with SAD, the time of year when the season is cloudy and cold, can be devastating. Everyone feels a little bit of the winter blues now and then, but when mild depression turns more serious, you may have SAD. 

Symptoms of SAD can include weight gain, disruptions in your sleep schedule, moderate to severe depression and anxiety, low energy levels, cravings for sugar and carbs especially, but prone to overeating in general, mood swings, etc. 

The onset of symptoms for people with this disorder comes when the weather starts getting colder, the days get shorter, and there is less time when the sun is shining. If you think you have SAD, it's important to get a diagnosis from a doctor or mental health professional and seek resources to maintain your mental health and overall well-being.

The SAD Truth

SAD is considered one of the mental health disorders by the National Institutes of Health and Behavioral Sciences, and the depression felt by sufferers of this condition is real. It is thought to be in part due to our body's natural harmony with the earth and being out of synch with what's called our circadian rhythm. This circadian rhythm is like a biological alarm clock within the body, one that is controlled by the sunrise and the sunset, and the very earth's rotations and cycles. 


As such, the winter blues, along with the depression that comes with it, are largely caused by the lack of sunlight during the colder months, and the lack of vitamin D as well. This lack of sunlight results in lower vitamin D levels, and a vitamin D deficiency is believed to be partially to blame for the condition. Taking a vitamin D supplement combined with light therapy treatments can ease the symptoms and make you feel better from the winter blues, or SAD. 

Beat The Winter Blues



1st Way - Light Therapy

If you're looking for a way to beat the winter blues and improve your mood, you can use light therapy lamps. Sunrise Sensations has some of the most beautifully crafted light boxes on the market! Use this  UV-free 10,000 lux, LED light therapy lamp to indirectly expose the retinas of your eyes for 15-20 minutes per day, as studies have shown that light therapy lamps help to ease symptoms of SAD.

2nd Way - Talk Therapy + Light Therapy = Relief!

Another way to beat the winter blues is to use talk therapy, which is very similar to taking counseling sessions. Your doctor may refer you to a talk therapist to improve your mood and fight symptoms of SAD. In fact, studies have shown that patients who participate in talk therapy and at-home light therapy go into remission completely, 80% of the time. These two forms of SAD therapy combined are highly effective in treating this disorder. Find your therapy lamp right here at Sunrise Sensations!


3rd Way To Beat The Blues - Healthy Living

The third and final method for beating the winter blues and improving your mood so you can start to feel better is "healthy living". This involves eating a healthy diet with plenty of whole grains, and taking a walk every day. Spend time in the sun whenever you can.  A walk in the sun will effectively alter your mood for the better, even when the air outside is cool or cold. Be health conscious as much as possible, and listen to your body. Add something new to your workout regularly, and be sure you don't forget your light therapy sessions each day.

 

Additional Facts

Certain people should not use light therapy lamps, such as those who suffer from bi-polar disorder, as it could trigger symptoms of mania. If you are already under the care of a mental health professional, light therapy can be used to enhance the effectiveness of your other ongoing treatments for seasonal affective disorder or SAD.

SAD is a mood disorder that significantly affects the function of daily activities. People with SAD exhibit feelings of depression, including fatigue, isolation, anxiety, overeating and oversleeping, to name a few.

 

How It Works

Light therapy works to relieve symptoms of SAD or the winter blues by simulating the effect the natural sun has on our bodies. This restarts the circadian rhythm or internal biological alarm clock that has gone out of sync with the decrease in natural light from the sun as the days become shorter and colder.

You can do this type of therapy as part of a daily self-care routine right at home, in your own living room. Often, doing some light therapy and taking a vitamin D supplement every day will ease the symptoms of SAD and restore you to normal function during the fall and winter months. See our beautiful light therapy lamps right here on our home page, at Sunrise Sensations, for the best quality light boxes around!


 


How To Use Light Therapy

You start with a Sunrise Sensations' light therapy lamp and position it in a spot where you can do your half-hour to 15-20 minutes of light therapy each day, just after waking up in the morning. Be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions prior to use and to position your lightbox at the recommended distance.
Also check out our post on how long do LED lights last