Many of us experience seasonal depression as autumn and winter arrive. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) comes and goes with the seasons, and it can start to affect your work if you’re not careful. Symptoms include lowered motivation levels, anxiety, and reduced social contact, among others.
#1: Prioritize Your Health
One of the best ways to combat seasonal affective disorder is by prioritizing your physical and mental health, both inside and outside of work. Keep up with the basics—exercise regularly, eat well, drink plenty of water, and get enough sleep. Of course, this can be easier said than done. Try asking a close friend or family member to help hold you accountable.
#2: Get Enough Light
The change in light patterns and the decreased daylight overall is one of the things that tends to trigger SAD. So, getting more light throughout your day is a good way to combat the problem. Get outside when you can or consider adding a light box to your desk. These devices can boost your mood by increasing serotonin output.
#3: Adjust Your Workload
Talk to your team lead or supervisor about adjusting your workload or schedule if SAD is affecting your tasks. Because the disorder can amplify feelings of mental fog, you may not be up to the same amount of work that you normally are, and that’s okay. See if there’s anything you can take off of your to-do list; you’ll be surprised how willing your team leads and coworkers are to help out.
#4: Talk to Someone
Talking to someone else about your SAD—a coworker, a friend outside of work, a family member—can go a long way toward helping you to feel better. Just knowing that someone else is there to hear you is helpful. Keeping your feelings bottled up is never a good idea, so try getting them out by talking to someone you trust.
#5: Seek Medical Help if Necessary
Remember: seasonal affective disorder is a very real medical condition. If things get bad enough, it’s time to seek help. You can talk to a counselor or a healthcare professional—for severe cases of SAD, medication or therapy may be able to help.
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