It’s officially February. Which means, most of us are officially OVER winter. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is real and it affects workers all over the U.S.. In fact, one Chicago teacher filed a discrimination lawsuit against her school district in 2009 when they refused to accommodate her Seasonal Affective Disorder.
When temps are below freezing, most of us want to stay in the comfort of our own home with a hot cup of coffee, which makes going to work not so fun.
If the season’s got you down, here are a few ways to fight back against SAD this winter.
There is arguably nothing better for your mental health than exercise. When the winter blues kick in, hit the gym or take a yoga class. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has found that people who regularly exercise have lower levels of tension, more stable moods, and even sleep better. Plus, you might even shed a few pounds while you’re at it. Win-win.
One of the best ways to combat SAD is to stay busy. Make plans with friends to work out or grab dinner after work. By having something to look forward to, you’ll distract your brain from thinking about the winter weather and focus on all the fun you’re having. Plus, plans with friends mean you have someone holding you accountable to get up and get out of your sweatpants.
Upgrade Your Environment
If your work space feels a little drab, consider ways to liven it up. Add some greenery to your space or pick up a light box to revamp your work environment. Planning a vacation? Print out pictures to keep you motivated and remind you that these few months are only temporary.
Consult a Professional
While these hacks might work for most, if you find your symptoms aren’t going away, it could be time to speak with a professional. In fact, one in five Americans suffer from some form of mental illness. Even more surprising? Less than half of these are actually seeking help for their condition. No matter how mild your depression may seem, if it isn’t showing signs of fading, consider speaking with someone so you can get back to being your best self.
Are you finding ways to fight SAD this year? Tell us about it in the comments or subscribe for more insights!