Cutting Down on SAD Following Moving to Little Rock
By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Should you remember anything about high school geography, the farther north you travel, the less daylight there is throughout the winter and fall seasons. The shorter days seem to come together with gloomy gray days, so that it seems like the sun rarely shines for months at a time. This is when all you'd like to do is hibernate--stay home, nap, binge watch TV shows, and merely steer clear of the human race. For those who have just moved across the country and are in a new location, and you have not really established a new schedule yet, you'll find it much easier to fall into the clutches of seasonal depression. Thus, here's how you can deal with it from your own home, or a few solutions a professional could recommend if you cannot keep it from escalating by yourself.
One note--SAD is a real thing--the Mayo Clinic handles it, and the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) includes it. If you experience the signs and symptoms of major depression that come with winter season, get intervention if you've had the outward symptoms before.
Brighten up Your Environment
Phototherapy is the magic bullet for many individuals with SAD. It is a uncomplicated treatment that professionals think modifies your brain chemistry with 30 minutes a day of exposure; There are no substantial unwanted side effects and it's a home remedy, so it is worth a try. You'll need a light box that emits no less than 10,000 lux (lux factors in the concentration of the light). Sit by the box--between 16 to 24 inches away--while you enjoy your morning drink, not gazing head on at the light source but with your eyes open. Ensure the light box is made just for SAD treatment, because it will filter out Ultraviolet light.
Basic things--higher-watt lights, opening window coverings every day, and sitting by a window where you work, if possible--that expose you to extra light will have a recognizable benefit. Trim back all tree limbs that hang across your home to allow in more sun, and explore installing skylights to allow all the sunshine you can to the house.
Go for a walk, consume your lunch time outside--anything to absorb some weak wintertime sun. Even a small increase of Vitamin D is ideal for you and going out-of-doors for a small walk takes care of that as well as getting your pulse up. Early morning sun--even on gloomy days--packs a bigger wallop versus the weak mid-day light, so strive to head out to get going with your day.
Workout and Make Friends
Exercise is the normal protocol for helping any kind of depression--it gets the endorphins running, which often eases the symptoms of anxiety. If your new home is in a location where cold weather sporting activities are popular, take up a new hobby--snow skiing, ice skating, perhaps ice fishing. Attempt to get out and connect with others, even if it's only enjoying supper or having coffee with colleagues.
Should your SAD lasts once you have attempted to deal with it yourself, I highly recommend you obtain a doctor's help. A psychologist or psychiatrist will do a complete assessment of your physical and mental well-being and assess whether your symptoms are truly seasonal or the start of a more severe depression. One of the primary questions they'll ask is if any other family members are susceptible to SAD--it is thought to be hereditary. Treatment solutions may be talk therapy, relaxation or meditating, or possibly a short-term prescription for antidepressants.
Keep in mind that as winter gives way to springtime, so will your SAD ease away as the days get longer and much more enjoyable. Meanwhile, please obtain therapy for your SAD in order to have fun with your wellbeing in your new house after moving to Little Rock.
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