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Winter’s Here: 7 Tips to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter’s Here: 7 Tips to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

January and February are the darkest, coldest, and most depressing months of the year in many climates. If you find yourself feeling sad, depressed, and disinterested in your normal activities during this time of year, it’s not your imagination. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of mood disorder that’s associated with changing seasons and lack of sunshine.[1] It’s estimated that about 4-6% of the U.S. population struggle with SAD, and 20% may suffer mild symptoms.[2] If you’re noticing that your mood drops significantly in the fall and winter, you may want to try these seven tips to help you overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder:

Make a plan

The best time to make a plan for dealing with SAD is before the symptoms even start of course, but that’s not always possible. Even when you’re feeling your worst, it’s important to make a routine you can stick to. Try to schedule in time to exercise, activities that get you out of the house (like game nights or dinner with friends), and even your meals. Plan some time for activities you love—and keep doing them, even when you don’t feel like it. Keeping busy and maintaining healthy habits are difficult when SAD hits you hard, but they can keep the disorder from taking over your life. So, plan ahead for the times when you don’t feel like getting out of bed.

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Try light therapy

SAD is heavily associated with low levels of sunlight, and light therapy has proven to be an effective antidote during the winter months. Light therapy boxes over 10,000 lux can be effective for treating SAD, and you don’t need a prescription to buy one.[3] Just make sure to use a model that does not transmit UV rays, and don’t use it right before you go to bed—you still need plenty of sleep!

Consider natural remedies

Vitamin D is something your body generates when you’re exposed to sunlight. In the winter, when sun is scarce, it can be helpful to take this vitamin as a supplement.

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Massage can be a soothing and relaxing activity that can boost your mood when you’re in the throes of SAD. It has been shown to raise serotonin levels, and improve your overall mood.[4] If a professional massage is too expensive, give yourself a rub down or have a partner help you. Massage schools can also be a great place to turn for inexpensive, soothing sessions.

Talk to someone

As with any mental health struggle, it can be extremely helpful to discuss your SAD symptoms with a therapist.[5] He or she can even prescribe medication for you if it’s appropriate (though this is usually a last resort for SAD therapy).

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Even just talking to a trusted friend or family member can make the situation feel less dark and hopeless. Most people have trouble asking for help, but talking through what you’re experiencing can help you get by during the winter months.

Explore your spirituality

If you’re a spiritual person, consider exploring that part of your identity. Though it doesn’t work for everyone, some people find comfort in their spirituality, using it to guide them through the dark and cold months of the year.[6] Not spiritual? Try meditation to help you relax and center yourself.

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Get moving

Tired of hearing about how exercise is the key to health and mental well-being? Well, it may not be the only key, but it does play a big role in your mood and overall outlook on life. It boosts chemicals in the brain that make you feel good, like dopamine and serotonin. You don’t have to exercise outside, but it can boost the overall benefit of exercise for dealing with SAD. You’ll get benefits from what little sunlight there is outside, plus the perks of moving your body. You’ve got more than enough proof that exercise can work wonders, even on SAD, that you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t get moving.

Actually move!

This may not be the most practical solution, and it may not be what you want to hear, but if you’re constantly struggling with SAD, year after year, then you may be living in the wrong climate. Some people enjoy the colder, darker weather, but if you’re someone who feels better in the sunshine, consider relocating. Moving may be a radical last resort, but if you’ve tried everything and you’re still debilitated by winter blues—it may be just what you need.

Reference

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

10 Small Changes To Make Your House Feel Like A Home

10 Small Changes To Make Your House Feel Like A Home

Your house is more than just a building that you live in. It should be a home that makes you feel welcome as soon as you open the front door.

Making your house feel like a home is not something that simply happens on its own. You need to make some changes to a house when you move in, to give it that cozy, warm feeling that turns it into a true home. To help you speed the process, follow this guide to 10 small changes to make your house feel like a home.

1. Make the Windows Your Own

When you move into a home, they often come with boring Venetian blinds or less than attractive curtains.

One of the best ways you can instantly warm your home and make it showcase your style is to add some new window dressing. Adding beautiful curtains not only improves your home’s appearance, but it can also help to control the temperature.

2. Put up Some Art

If you have a lot of bare walls in your home, it will seem sterile no matter how beautiful your paint or wallpaper is.

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Hanging art on the walls will instantly give it personality and make it feel like home.

3. Improve the Aroma

A house that is not filled with inviting smells will never feel like a home. There are loads of ways you can make your home smell nice. There are tons of air fresheners on the market you can use.

Incense and scented candles are a nice option as well. Don’t forget that baking in a home is also a great way to fill it with an aroma that instantly smells like home as soon as you open the front door.

4. Put out Lots of Pillows and Throws

A great way to make your home look warm and inviting is to place lots of pillows and throws out on the furniture. It is much better to have too many pillows than not enough.

There is nothing like the feeling of sinking into a cushiony pillow that feels like a cloud to make you feel like you are at home.

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5. Instantly Class up Your Closet

If your closet is filled with wire or plastic hangers, it will never truly feel homey. To instantly make your closet feel classy, change out your old hangers for wooden ones.

Not only do they look great, but they are better for hanging your clothes as well.

6. Improve Your Air Quality

One of the most overlooked ways to make your house feel more like a home is to improve its air quality.

The easiest and best way to upgrade the air quality in your home is to change the old, dirty filters in your furnace regularly. Get some air filters delivered to your home so that you always have some on hand.

7. Fill it with Plants

Another way to improve the air quality in your home is to fill it with plants. You should have plants in every room of your home.

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They help to improve the air quality and they look beautiful. As well as making your home appear homier, plants also help to boost your mood and lower your stress levels.

8. Change the Doorknobs

Most people don’t really give their doorknobs a second thought unless they are broken. That is a shame because changing your doorknobs is an easy way to add personality to your home.

Changing your old, boring doorknobs to new ones that are works of art will instantly brighten your home.

9. Upgrade Your Tub or Shower

There is nothing like luxuriating in a whirlpool bath or steam shower to make the cares of the day melt away. Your family deserves a bit of luxury when they are in their bathroom.

Install a new shower or tub today to make your bathroom worthy of a place in your home.

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10. Fresh Cut Flowers

You can make any room in your house feel homier by placing a vase full of beautiful flowers in it. The gorgeous look and intoxicating aroma of fresh cut flowers will immediately brighten your day when you encounter them.

You don’t have to make all these changes at once. Try one or two a day though, and your house will feel like a home before you know it. The trick is to constantly keep adding these homey touches to make your home a place worthy of its name.

Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-wooden-round-analog-wall-clock-on-brown-wooden-wall-121537/ via unsplash.com

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