The dark skies, fewer things to do, and the holidays’ passing can make the winter blues a big part of daily life for some people. Seasonal affective disorder is a condition that impacts the quality of life and mental well-being of many people during this time of the year. It doesn’t always require treatment but beating the winter blues is something you should strive to do. Our team at Northern Illinois Recovery is here to help when you need it.
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
During the winter months, it’s common for people to feel down and depressed. The winter blues are characterized by:
- Feeling lonely
- Not enjoying much time out of the home
- Lack of motivation or desire to do things
- Feeling helpless and or hopeless
- Fatigue and lacking energy
Beating the winter blues means changing negative thoughts and engaging more so with life. To do that, you have to know what’s causing the feelings you have.
What Causes the Winter Blues?
A combination of facts may bring on seasonal affective disorder. Often, a lack of spending time outdoors leads to a drop in the amount of Vitamin D a person takes in. This directly contributes to mental health and energy levels. By improving access to sunlight and increasing Vitamin D intake, most people feel a bit better.
The change in the circadian rhythm also causes it. The change in times and the long dark hours of the day disrupts a person’s normal biological clock. That makes you feel run down and unable to enjoy life.
For some, the winter blues is the onset of time spent alone. This is often the case with other people. After the holidays are over, there’s less time to spend with family and friends. Winter can seem long and hard to get through before new holidays arrive to bring the family back around.
Beating the Winter Blues: What You Can Do
There is a range of steps you can take to improve seasonal affective disorder. For some, spending just 10 to 15 minutes outdoor each day can make a big difference. Light therapy may also be helpful for those who cannot get outdoors.
For people with more significant and impactful seasonal affective disorder, it’s helpful to seek out medications. Doctors may offer help with antidepressants. You may not need these medications all of the time.
Psychotherapy treatment is another tool. It provides an opportunity to talk and open up about those feelings and what may be causing them. For some, there is past trauma or anxiety built up that could be behind the onset of this condition. At Northern Illinois Recovery, we offer a range of therapies that can help, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Individual therapy programs
- Group therapy programs
- Family therapy programs
An investment in drug and alcohol treatment may be helpful to some people who have developed an addiction. It is not uncommon for people to use these substances to help them cope with the effects of seasonal affective disorder.
With comprehensive treatment, it’s possible to restore overall wellbeing and health even with a mental health disorder like this. Beating the winter blues may not be as hard as it seems when you have professional help available to support you through the ups and downs you feel.
When You Need More Help, Turn to Northern Illinois Recovery
Seasonal affective disorder does not always improve. If you have the winter blues and impact your quality of life or that of your family, reach out to Northern Illinois Recovery depression treatment program. Our team can help you with beating the winter blues and enjoying a higher quality of life. To get help, call 855.786.1978 or connect with us online.