While we are always learning new information about Seasonal Affective Disorder, one thing we do know is the cause – lack of sunlight. During the winter, the days are shorter and much darker than our bodies are used to which is why Seasonal Affective Disorder is most common in the fall and winter. Due to the cold weather and lack of sunlight, many people start to feel signs of depression which causes them to not want to leave the comfort of their home. With loss of sunlight comes lower levels of vitamin D and that is another common reason why people start to feel down.
The best way to lift your spirits during those cold, dark days is to get more light. Going outside for a walk is a great way to get exposure to some much needed sunlight. In order to get the energy and motivation to get outside, many people rely on a light box. A light box is used for 30 minutes a day. You sit in front of it in the morning and your eyes absorb the light creating a chemical reaction. Your brain releases the chemical serotonin which is what gives you a boost of energy and a lifted mood – this reaction is similar to one the sun would cause.
If you are one of the many people that suffer from weather depression during the fall and winter months, focus on getting more light with light box therapy and your days will improve.