Seasonal Depression

Tips to Ease Seasonal Depression Symptoms in the Elderly

Many people find themselves feeling a bit down when the colder, overcast months start to roll in, but sometimes it’s more than just a mood swing. Seasonal depression is a disorder where come fall and winter, you start to feel drained of energy and moody. It often results in laziness and a lack of motivation and more than often causes some kind of weight gain.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a regular disorder that typically starts and ends at the same time of year. For that reason, in order to still get the most out of those darker months, it’s a good idea to take steps to ease your symptoms.

What You Can Do to Ease the Symptoms

Light Boxes

Light boxes are a common and effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). They simulate the light of the sun to help get your body’s circadian rhythms going. A circadian rhythm is a sort of twenty-four-hour clock in your body that can dictate things like when you feel tired when you eat, and your body temperature throughout the day.

Seasonal depression has been linked to disruptions in these rhythms caused by the shorter days that can cause you to feel more tired and less active at the peak of the day. For this reason, sitting in front of a light box for 30 minutes a day has been proven to promote activity and positive feelings. It simulates the bright sun that you would normally be getting in the spring and summer.

Dawn Simulators

Dawn simulators can be used instead of an alarm clock in the morning and simulate the sun in a similar way to light boxes. They wake you by gradually growing lighter and lighter like the sun would in the summer morning. Dawn simulators are said to be as effective as a light box for someone who is suffering from seasonal depression and can help them feel more ready for the day.

Aromatherapy

The essential oils that you get from aromatherapy are said to influence the parts of the brain responsible for mood and emotion. They can help brighten your mood during the day and stimulate your senses to make you feel more alive. Drop a few drops into a bath or light an aromatherapy candle in your house to try it out.

Exercise

While outdoor exercise is the best for treating seasonal depression, it is not always possible during the snowier months. However, any time you can, it is important to get outside and exercise, even if it’s just going for a light walk. But if outside isn’t an option, then you should try to exercise in front of a window. Walk on the treadmill or use an elliptical for a half hour or so every day to help to boost your mood. This can also help you to ward off the weight gain that often results from seasonal affective disorder.

Let in the Light

Whether you’re exercising or not, natural sunlight is one of the best remedies for darker moods brought on by seasonal depression. Sit by a window and read and make sure to keep all of your shades open throughout the day to let in as much light as possible.

Stick to a Schedule

It can be hard to get yourself to wake up and fall asleep during these seasons and because of that, you may often have trouble doing things you should be during the day. Make a schedule and stick to it. Have a regular routine for what you’re going to do each day whether it is exercising in the morning, doing the dishes, watering the indoor plants, reading a book or going to book club. Have a set time that you’re going to every day and a set time you are going to sleep. Not only will this keep you moving during the day, it will help you to sleep at night.

Prescription Antidepressants

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression, so if more natural ways are not helping you to get through your day, antidepressants are an option. They can help to give you more energy during the day and suppress the melatonin that is making you feel moody. Talk to a doctor and a psychiatrist so that they can see what will work best for you and if antidepressants are a good option.

Take a Vacation!

Sounds too easy right? That all you have to do is go somewhere where it isn’t winter to start feeling better? Well, that’s exactly what happens. Take a vacation in the winter with your family or by yourself and spend some time in the warmth and the sun. Even just a few days out in the sun can do volumes to help improve your mood and boost your energy!

 

Let Us Help

If you have questions regarding these or other concerns about assisted living communities in the Aurum Network, contact us at (978) 282-9551 or use our facility locator tool.

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