The days get shorter and the nights get longer during the autumn and winter months. We spend less time in the sun and more time in the dark. Our bodies respond to this seasonal change by becoming less active than we usually would. However, life does not work like this. Many of us have jobs and other duties to work around. When we go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, we might feel like the entire day has slipped away. We might long for the days of summer. Things may feel bleak to us as we lack energy and positivity. We might experience aspects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). What can we do to combat this?

Get outdoors during the day when we can
  • Any time we have a break, even just a few minutes to get outside, can help us feel better.
  • Get out for a walk during lunch or during any break time, even on a cloudy day.
Use lighting at home in the evenings
  • We should keep some lights on in our homes during the darker evenings. 
  • Avoid going home and watching TV or using a computer in a dark room; just keep some light on.
  • Remember to exercise to release endorphins and other “feel-good” chemicals. 
  • These chemicals can help with our feelings of depression during this time.
Eat healthy meals
  • Continue to eat healthy foods.
  • A healthy diet can help you maintain your mental and physical health.
Reach out for support
  • When we have underlying mental health issues, SAD may worsen our symptoms. 
  • We need to reach out for help and support when we need it.

We may feel more depressed or tired during the winter months as the hours of sunlight diminish. The decrease in daylight hours can affect our moods and may impact our mental health. We can help ourselves by continuing to maintain our wellness by exercising, eating healthy meals, and reaching out for support when needed. We should also get outside whenever we can—even for just a few minutes—to lessen the brunt of Seasonal Affective Disorder. If we are struggling with underlying issues, we may need additional support during this time. During the winter seasons, people with depression and other mental illnesses may experience a worsening of symptoms. If you are continuing to struggle and need professional support, Alta Loma may be able to assist you. We are here for men suffering from mental illnesses and addiction. Call us today at (866) 457-3843 for more information on how we can help you or a loved one.