Written by Excel Dyquiangco as originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles
The emotions and attitude of people sometimes get affected by the weather. When it’s bright and sunny, our spirits are lifted. On the other hand, when it’s dark and gloomy, as it is usually during the rainy season, feelings of sadness and negativity often creep in. This condition is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a depression that is connected with the changing seasons. In some worse cases, SAD, when not treated properly, could even lead to suicidal thoughts and death.
So what to do to overcome loneliness that can lead to SAD and depression?
Try light therapy. When it is dark and cloudy outside and there’s no hint of sunlight, create some light using Light Therapy Boxes. This kind of lighting is brighter than regular light bulbs and produces light in different wave lengths. Staying around the light boxes for thirty minutes can help can suppress your melatonin, a hormone that controls our moods. Change your bulbs to “full spectrum” bulbs” that imitate the full effects of sunlight.
Use a dawn stimulator. Dawn stimulators are regular alarms clocks. But instead of beeping or other noises, they produce a light that slowly increases in intensity, simulating the rays of the sun. There are different varieties of dawn stimulators. Choose one with a full-spectrum light because its lighting effect is close to natural sunlight.
Follow a workout routine. Working out daily even for just 30 minutes releases a “happy” hormone that recharges and makes us upbeat the entire day. The effects of a good workout are long-lasting and will benefit your metabolism and over-all health.
Go out into the sun. When the sun is out, make the most of it and take your early morning walk or run. The warmth of the morning sun can bring our energy back and revitalize your mood.
Have a regular schedule. People with SAD often have trouble sleeping and waking up in the morning. To counteract this effect, follow a regular schedule or routine to regulate your body clock which can help you sleep.
Keep your home bright and cheerful. Put in a few lights and lamps inside your to make it bright and radiant. Having ample indoor lightning can bring them out of the gloomy-weather doldrums, including, depression and SAD.
Treat yourself. There are days when the rains seem endless – and some days when it’s just a drizzle. Whether the rain lasts for hours or days, make sure you still treat yourself. Spend quality time with family and friends. Play board games. Indulge in a movie marathon and watch all your favourite shows.
Relax. Relax by reading a good book or listening to soft music. You can also contemplate and pray. Do everything that would make you calm.
Be sociable. Make sure to connect with your friends. Meet up for coffee or an afternoon of catching up. If you can’t meet them physically, stay in touch with them online through your social media networks.
Visit a doctor. SAD is not to be taken lightly and should be addressed by a health professional if needed. If you feel like you need to see a doctor who can help you deal with your condition, go ahead.