In addition to your treatment plan for seasonal affective disorder, try the following:
Sept. 12, 2014
- Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds, trim tree branches that block sunlight or add skylights to your home. Sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.
- Get outside. Take a long walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise and other types of physical activity help relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase SAD symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.
- Saeed SA, et al. Seasonal affective disorder. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Specifiers for depressive disorders: With seasonal pattern. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Seasonal affective disorder. National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=23051. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Seasonal-affective disorder. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psychiatry.org/seasonal-affective-disorder. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Varteresian T, et al. Natural products and supplements for geriatric depression and cognitive disorders: An evaluation of the research. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2014;16:456.
- Sanassi LA. Seasonal affective disorder: Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. 2014;27:18.
- Melatonin. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Depression. National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/index.shtml. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Ravindran AV, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies as add-on to pharmacotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2013;150:707.
- Stress and relaxation techniques. NCCAM Clinical Digest. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/relaxation.htm. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Massage therapy for health purposes. NCCAM Clinical Digest. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/massage. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Kung S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 29, 2014.
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