As winter is around the corner, mental health experts are concerned about people suffering from Seasonal Depression. COVID-19 has led to major depressive episodes that has been labeled as Pandemic Depression. Due to the drastic lifestyle changes, role transition, uncertainties and additional responsibilities these cases have increased. With the onset of winter, mental health experts are warning people about Pandemic Depression clashing with Seasonal Depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The latter is a variant of Major Depressive Disorder with a seasonal pattern. It is most commonly associated with Winter Depression. It is usually limited to a particular time frame and is recurrent in nature. Lack of adequate sunlight is one of the suspected causes. Dr Kedar Tilwe, psychiatrist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund & Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi, suggests ways to help you cope better with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Tips to battle Seasonal Depression
- Uplift your mood with a source of light
The absence of sunlight has a role to play in SAD cases. It can help to have a naturally well-lit room. If that’s not possible, opt for an artificial source of light.
- Identify triggers that stress you
Stress can worsen depressive symptoms. Identifying the problem areas can allow you to work on the triggers and minimise the effect, helping you cope better.
- Step out into the sunlight for a walk
Introduce necessary lifestyle changes. Step out for an early morning walk (in a lit room if necessary) can help you battle Seasonal Depression.
- Pay attention to sleep hygiene
Implement proper sleep hygiene. Routinely, going to sleep and waking up on time can help ease the symptoms.
- Bond with loved ones to battle isolation
Regular conversations with your family, friends, colleagues and support groups can help reduce the sense of isolation and enhance emotional connect.
If necessary, reach out to a mental health professional for help. Many of them are now available online for consultations.