5 Ways To Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

5 Ways To Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Is the winter weather wearing on more than just your tires? Here are some ways to counteract the affects of SAD.

As the snowbanks pile higher I find myself feeling increasingly under the weather emotionally. In New England late February is associated with melting snow and sometimes rain, but this year we have been bombarded (and then some) with snow. And being someone who gets cold easily and enjoys a nice 75 degrees and sunny, I am finding myself and those around me, feeling down in the dumps.

The clinical term for this is Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly known as seasonal depression. The disorder is defined as, “a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. SAD is a form of depression that if serious can require therapy and proper treatment, but there are some ways to counteract the effects in perhaps less severe cases or early stages of the disorder.

Having scoured the internet for ways to counter the effects of what some refer to as the “winter blues”, here are five ways to combat SAD:

1. Plan a trip

Booking a flight and an Airbnb for a getaway where there is a beach involved, always makes me feel a little warmer. It gives me something to look forward to. I hear Greece is beautiful in the springtime! And if Athens and Ouzo are out of your price range, Charleston, SC is supposed to be a nice trip as well.

2. Practice Mindfulness

Unless you live in Antarctica the snow outside will not be there forever (depending on your take on climate change, of course), so why not take advantage of it. Try winter sports like skiing or snowshoeing and if you’re not that ambitious try going for a walk to see the fresh layer of snow. As easy as it is to hate, you cannot deny that the white stuff is beautiful. Why not take advantage of it while it is here? Just know that the sun will come out eventually. After all, mindfulness is all about being where you are and in the moment. Be patient, try to find joy in the little things and it will be Spring before you know it.

3. Invest in some light therapy

Whether you prefer makeup mirrors, goggles or lamps, the market for indoor light sources that provide the virtual sensation of sitting out in the sun has been cornered. It is not the real thing, but there have been studies linking certain lights and their affect on people’s moods. Some say that sitting in front of the proper light for as little as 15 minutes a day can significantly lift your spirits.

4. Go out in the sun

In New England, the sun is a rumor that only a few have confirmed the existence of, but if you happen to be walking by a window in your office and there is light streaming through and emanating from this big ball in the sky, take a minute and stand in its rays. Even better, if you have five minutes, go outside and stand in it when it is hottest out. There is simply no substitute for Vitamin D directly from the source.

5. Exercise

As much as the gym seems to be this dreaded and perhaps mysterious place, getting your brain pumped with some necessary oxygen and endorphins may just give you the boost you need. Plus, your body will appreciate it.

Cover Image Credit: wikia

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.


Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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30 Activities To Add To Your Monthly Self-Care Challenge

It is officially the last month of the year... time to treat yo'self, sister.


With December here already, it is time to wrap up the old year and bring new habits into the new year. My favorite way to remind myself to take care of my own mental health and body is to keep a monthly challenge each month in my planner. Each day I look forward to seeing what my daily "me-time" task is.

1. Fill out your planner, set days aside for yourself

Day 1 - crush those goals and treat yo'self sister. With it coming to be the end of the semester, it's important to take care of your mind, body, and heart.

2. Take a bubble bath

Day 2 - take a bubble bath or add your favorite bath bomb. Relax and read a great book.

3. Catch up on a show you enjoy

Day 3 - let yourself binge once in a while. Relax, drink your favorite hot cocoa, and bundle up with your favorite Netflix series.

4. Clean out your social media feeds

Day 4 - clear out unneeded people on your social media platforms! That person you liked in 6th grade? Delete. The boy on the football team who thought you were cute? Delete. Your cousin's friend's sister's mom? Yep, delete her too.

5. Clean one single room in your house

Day 5 - It can be overwhelming to tell yourself you have to clean your entire house that you've put off for weeks now. Start with a single room, a single chore, one at a time until you get the job done... you'll feel better once it's over.

6. Make a HAPPY playlist

Day 6 - my personal favorite thing to do when needing a little boost of happiness is to create a happy playlist. Add all of your favorite shower jams to one playlist and start your concert party of one.

7. Make a list of all your favorite things

Day 7 - favorite quotes, favorite songs, favorite recipes, favorite books or bible verses, anything you love... jot them into lists.

8. Write as many positive things about yourself as you can

Day 8 - It's hard to see positives in yourself when society tells you all the things you aren't and should be. Take today to reflect on all that you are, inside and out.

9. Do your laundry, fold it, and put it away! 

Day 9 - The worst chore ever has to be done and you will feel 100 x better after it's done, trust me.

10. Eat something nutritional for your body 

Day 10 - Even though Taco Bell is yummy, your body needs nutrition, especially during this time of the semester. Make an extra effort to eat your fruits and veggies today.

11. Read something that makes you happy 

Day 11 - Read your favorite blog, a magazine, your bible, a great chapter out of your favorite book, read something that sparks your soul.

12. Color in a coloring book 

Day 12 - Bring it back to your childhood and de-stress today by coloring. Whether it be out of a children's coloring book or an adult stress relief book, doodle your heart out.

13. Go get a check-up

Day 13 - this is SO important. As we grow older and stress becomes more prevalent, do NOT forget to schedule a yearly check-up.

14. Make a list of your community 

Day 14 - It's easy to feel alone when you are overwhelmed.. take today to write down all of the individuals who make up your community, you'll be surprised how many you've got.

15. Get outside 

Day 15 - Ride your bike, get our your rollerblades, go for a walk in your nearest park... get outside and give yourself time to relax and reflect.

16. Plan something to look forward to 

Day 16 - a girls' day with your closest girlfriends, a movie night with your momma, a day trip to window shop at your favorite boutique, no matter what you plan... make it something you are going to look forward to.

17. Zumba it out

Day 17 - Today is about reminding yourself to dance through the rain. Zumba is a great workout and relieves so much stress as you are simply dancing your heart out. Step out of your comfort zone and try it, you'll be thankful that you did.

18. Donate your time or your belongings 

Day 18 - In order to move forward, you must give back. Being able to donate your time to help others or donate things that we no longer use is one way to boost happiness instantly. There is nothing better than knowing you are helping others who haven't been as lucky as you.

19.  Wake up 10 minutes earlier

Day 19 - Yep, you read that right. Set your alarm simply 10 minutes earlier and be surprised at what will happen... you'll be thankful that you did.

20. Play a game you enjoy

Day 20 - A family game, a board game, a card game, Wii game, anything that will get your mind off of the real world for just a little while.

21. Make a list of all your accomplishments 

Day 21 - take pride in all that you have done up until this moment, you have worked so hard to get to where you are. Write it all down today, big or small, thank me later sis.

22. Drink plenty of water

Day 22 - WATER, WATER, WATER! Studies show that you are supposed to drink your weight in ounces of water. Drink up!

23. Journal 

Day 23 - there is nothing more therapeutic than journaling about what is going on in your life right now. The good, the bad, the small or big, journal it all out. Make a plan... you got this.

24. Talk to someone about how you feel 

Day 24 - Speak up. Get help. Open up. Tell someone how you are feeling, let them be a light for you. We aren't supposed to tackle this life alone.

25. Catch up with someone 

Day 25 - That girl you sat next to in church a few months ago? Ask her to coffee. The friend you used to see every day in high school? Chick-fil-A sound's pretty good. Your momma? Make time for her today

26. Watch a TedTalk

Day 26 - No better way to inspire yourself than to watch an incredible TedTalk that touches on exactly how you are feeling.

27. Create a budget plan

Day 27 - Groceries, bills, rent, fun money, the shirt you want, Starbucks fund, you name it.. budget it out. This will allow you to have just a little less stress on your shoulders.

28. Tell someone you appreciate them 

Day 28 - This one never goes out of style. The good old fashion "I appreciate all that you do for me", spread it around like confetti. Get creative, make a craft or a DIY gift.

29. Wear something that makes you feel confident 

Day 29 - Pull something out of your closet this morning that makes you feel confident and worthy. Something that makes you feel like you can tackle anything that life throws in your way today.


Day 30 - YES. YES. YES. Today you are going to turn off your push notifications, be in the present, let everyone else live their lives without letting yourself compare yours to theirs, be mindful. You've made it to day 30, what do your next 30 days look like?

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