Seasonal affective disorder, sometimes referred to as seasonal depression or simply SAD, is a
mood disorder that primarily impacts people during the short, dark, colder days of the winter
season. Because of its unpredictability and often varying length, seasonal affective disorder can
be difficult to recognize and diagnose, even for trained physicians. As we continue to navigate
through the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting this ailment can become all the more challenging.
With many symptoms, including lowered energy levels, sleeping too much, lack of focus, and
loss of interest in your passions, seasonal affective disorder can manifest in many different
ways. If you or someone you know is impacted by SAD, know that there are steps you can take
to lift your mood and persevere to brighter days.
- Let There Be Light (Therapy)
While seasonal affective disorder can begin at the onset of winter, when the days are shorter
and our exposure to sunlight begins to decrease, there are ways to supplement your day with
much-needed light. Special artificial lights have been created that simulate natural daylight and
have shown positive results for helping improve winter moods.
- Let’s Get Physical (Exercise)
Exercise may not be as easy in the winter months when the days are shorter and it is colder
outside, but it is just as important to maintain a healthy physical lifestyle. Joining an indoor
gym, doing activities such as yoga, or practicing home calisthenics can all help you improve your
- Talk to Your Doctor
Ultimately, the doc knows best. Seasonal affective disorder can be very serious, as it is a form of
depression. If you believe you are impacted, talk to your doctor about treatment options—even
if only temporary to help get you through to the spring. If warranted, he or she can even