7 Ways to Beat S.A.D.
Now that winter is practically here, there are more and more seniors who are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D. If you aren’t already familiar with S.A.D., it is a common condition that impacts people of all ages during the winter season. It causes depression and depression-like symptoms and is often linked solely to the season and time of year.
Unfortunately, while S.A.D. can impact any person, of any age, it is most common in seniors. This is why it is so important that seniors are proactive about this condition and aware of what they can do to prevent them from falling victim to S.A.D.
- Get outside. Even if it is just to sit outdoors for a few moments wrapped in a blanket. Getting outside and breathing in fresh air and enjoying real sunlight can go a long way in battling S.A.D.
- Exercise. Even something as simple as walking the mall is a great form of exercise and one that can help you release endorphins that will boost your mood and help you feel more like yourself.
- Change your diet. Positive diet changes can go a long way for anyone battling depression or depression-like symptoms, and a complete diet change during a S.A.D. episode can give the body the jump-start it needs to reset and get back to feeling like normal.
- Take a vacation. Sure you won’t be able to do this every time you feel depressive symptoms—but this is a great solution for seniors who suffer with S.A.D. every year. Instead of bearing through the winter and another year of seasonal depression, plan a trip to somewhere sunny during the winter. It is a great way to get ahead of the problem before it starts and to get over your feelings of seasonal depression by basking in the sun.
- Light therapy. There are many studies that like S.A.D. to the fact that people aren’t getting enough sunlight in the winter. A great way to change this is to invest in a light machine. Light therapy can help any senior get over their S.A.D. symptoms.
- Stay connected. There are many seniors who not only deal with Seasonal Affective Disorder, but who also deal with loneliness and isolation. A great way for seniors to combat these feelings of isolation is to stay connected with friends and family. Weekly dinners, regular video conferencing and more can all help any senior with S.A.D.
- Meditate. During the cold, gloomy days of winter when you really need a boost, try meditation. Any person at any age can meditate and it is a great way to change your mood by boosting serotonin levels. With meditation you can not only calm your mind but get rid of anxious energy and negative thoughts.
Of course, if seniors continue to experience depression-like symptoms, it is important that they visit their doctor for more help. While S.A.D. typically goes away when the seasons change, this isn’t always the case and if you are worried about anyone hurting themselves, or hurting others, it is important that they get help right away.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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