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Mental Health Matters: Tips & Tricks to Combat Seasonal Depression

Fall brings pumpkin spice lattes and the changing of the leaves, but for 10 million Americans, it also brings a common mental health condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is more common than you think, and it can impact anyone at different levels of severity. 

This time of the year should be enjoyed. Taking care of yourself is just as important as gearing up to take care of the holidays. Make sure you are keeping your mind and your body healthy this season! 

Phoenix House Florida is a trusted alcohol abuse treatment center in Tampa, FL, and working with professionals, we have compiled a helpful list of the top things you can do this season to combat SAD and stay feeling your best.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, often referred to as SAD, is a type of depression most commonly associated with the changing of the seasons, particularly from summer and spring months to fall and winter months. 

It is thought that due to shorter days, less sun can impact your behaviors negatively. Feelings of sadness, lack of motivation, or increased tiredness can all be symptoms of SAD. SAD is four times more likely to impact women than men, and more likely to impact those in areas farther away from the equator, as they have greater differences in days between summer and winter months. 

Oftentimes, people with pre-existing depression or bi-polar symptoms may notice SAD more prevalently in their life. This is not to say that people without those conditions will not experience SAD, so no matter what your previous diagnoses have been, it is important to check in with yourself.

What Can I Do to Combat Seasonal Depression?

While doctors do not know everything about SAD, there are some actionable steps you can take to minimize the impacts the disorder can bring. As an alcohol abuse treatment center in Tampa, we care deeply about people operating at their best. 

See our top tips for combating SAD below.

1. Try Light Therapy

Light therapy helps combat the underlying cause professionals think brings on SAD. Exposing yourself to bright light every day can supplement the light loss from shorter days that can trigger seasonal depression. 

Special light boxes and dawn simulators can be found online and in stores in all shapes and sizes to fit your needs. For many people, they are a very effective and simple way to boost your mood every morning.

2. Stick to a Schedule, and Prioritize Social Plans

Finding comfort in routine can be very beneficial in keeping a positive attitude. While finding your routine is very important, when combating SAD, be sure to still prioritize friends and family. Having a support system to help you through the winter months can be a great remedy to feeling better during shorter days.

3. Stay Active

Exercising (even just walking) can have wonderful impacts, not only for SAD, but general depression as well. Especially in a place like sunny Tampa, FL, getting outside on those beautiful, crisp fall mornings can be the wakeup call your mind and body needs.

4. Avoid Using Alcohol or Other Substances to Suppress Symptoms

Exercising (even just walking) can have wonderful impacts, not only for SAD, but general depression as well. Especially in a place like sunny Tampa, FL, getting outside on those beautiful, crisp fall mornings can be the wakeup call your mind and body needs.

5. Seek Medical Help

If there are underlying reasons you are experiencing SAD, or you are using substances or alcohol to treat your symptoms, it is important to get professional help from an alcohol abuse treatment center.

Speaking with a doctor can help if these tips are not enough to help clear your mind of the fall and winter blues.

To schedule a consultation with Phoenix House Florida, please request an appointment today

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Phoenix House Florida website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services provided by Phoenix House Florida or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.d

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