One type of mental health issue that might not get as much publicity as depression or bipolar disorder is something known as seasonal affective disorder. Commonly called SAD, this acronym can actually reflect how sufferers of this condition feel. Seasonal affective disorder, which is common during the winter, is more than just someone not enjoying the time of year and longing for better weather. While many people feel this way, they often can shrug aside these feelings and get on with their day. For those with SAD, however, doing so isn't as easy. Seeing a mental health professional for treatment is a good idea. You can also take these steps to bolster your skills, when it comes to managing this issue.
Schedule A Vacation
While you might not have the resources to travel to a nicer climate for the entirety of the winter, planning a vacation for a week, or perhaps even longer, can help you to beat the winter blues. Try to assess when your SAD-caused feelings of melancholy are the greatest. Perhaps, it's early in the new year, when you've just gotten over the excitement of the holidays, and now you're looking at a few months of cold and dark weather. Taking a cruise in the middle of January can often help you to feel better.
Plan Fun Activities
While outward activities aren't exactly a "cure" for a mental health issue such as seasonal affective disorder, the right things can definitely help. Although people often get together with friends more during the summer months, when they can enjoy things outdoors, try to maintain an active social calendar, even during the winter. You'll often find that even though you feel down, your feelings will improve when you think about something fun that you have scheduled for the weekend.
Improve Your Exposure To Sunlight
Sunlight can help to make you feel better. There is evidence that vitamin D, which is present in the sun's rays, can have an impact on your mood. Your SAD can worsen over the winter months for two main reasons — there are fewer hours of sunlight each day, and you're not getting outside as much. Try to watch the forecast to identify days that are expected to be sunny, and then make plans to get outside. Whether you go ice skating, cross-country skiing, or enjoy a walk with your family dog, the prolonged exposure to the sun can actually help you to feel a little better.
For more information, talk to companies like Community Counseling Group.