What is SAD?

The seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression – don’t let it scare you, it is 100% related to the changes in seasons. With the days getting shorter, rain, fog, and cold, you may start feeling that the change of seasons is sapping your energy and making you feel moody. It is very common in northern Europe and usually resolves on its own. So, do not feel alone if you’re experiencing mild depression in the winter.

Usually, you eventually get used to it, however, in severe cases, you may need medical treatment. This may include light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy, and medications.

If you feel like your symptoms are getting worse and nothing is helping, please seek medical attention. However, I will share some home remedies that helped me.

A typical winter noon in Bremen. Foggy weather, bare trees.
Bremen Winter© Can

Tip #1: Vitamin D Supplements

From a medical perspective, vitamin D is a powerful weapon against depression, as its deficiency may result in more substantial mood swings and less control over mental health. Typically, you can get your daily dose of vitamin D from the sunlight, but the lack of sunlight is the cause of the problem here, so taking supplements can drastically help you to recover.

Tip #2: SAD lamps

Okay, so I will be very honest, these did not work for me but I have seen many people use them and some of them got positive results. There are these lamps called the SAD lamps which mimic the special color and intensity of the sunlight. Just spending time under these lights may help you to get into a better mood. These are very common items that can be found online and in botanical stores.

Tip #3: Embracing the COZY!

Actually, if you think about it, having darker days can be a nice thing. Imagine the most wholesome Christmas-themed outdoor scene: lots of colorful lights on the streets, small fire pits, Christmas trees, Christmas markets, people drinking mulled wine, snow… The darkness enhances the coziness of the scene. If you’re not the biggest fan of the holiday spirit, you can always convert your living space to be cozier with warm lighting, soft furniture, hot drinks, and of course, good company. Once you get a hold of the cozy aesthetics, you will start enjoying the darkness.

As a summary

Once you will adapt to the new environment, your SAD will get better. But for your fist couple of years, small changes in the lifestyle can go a long way. Stay warm and happy! 🙂

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