Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of disorder that typically occurs in the winter. It happens when the temperature and weather changes, going from bright and sunny weather to the dark, gloomy variety. In the fall, you might experience some mild SAD symptoms, but they tend to be worse in the winter. However, this means in the fall you can start working on natural remedies and hopefully prevent the symptoms from getting too bad before winter arrives.
Know Your SAD Triggers
While the fall season and the changing weather is often the first trigger for seasonal affective disorder, there are some others you might experience. It is important to know what your triggers are, as avoiding these triggers as much as possible is a good way to start dealing with your symptoms early on. Here are some things that might be triggering your SAD symptoms in the fall:
Less sunshine, more dark days, and rain
A change in social situations
Summer being over, which means going back to work
Dealing with being indoors more often
You may have an entirely different set of SAD symptoms, which is okay. Just look for your triggers, write them down, then try to find ways to avoid them.
Get a Lightbox
One of the things that cause SAD symptoms in the winter is a lack of sunshine and light and longer dark hours during the day. Start by preparing for it in the fall with a lightbox. Lightboxes can be used indoors when it is dark and gloomy, which often leads to feeling sad and depressed during these cold, dark months. Start using the lightbox in the fall, even if you are still having some sunny days. This gets you into the habit of using it daily so by the time winter comes around, you are already using it religiously.
Try Regular Exercise
Exercise is important year-round, but especially when you are trying to deal with your SAD symptoms more naturally. This works for multiple reasons. For one thing, exercise helps to release endorphins, which are happy-feeling chemicals in your brain. It can boost your mood and your happiness, even on the darkest of days. Exercise also gets you outdoors so that you can soak up every amount of sunshine available to you.
Take a Vitamin D Supplement
When you start getting further into fall and enter winter, the days get shorter, and the nights get longer. If this gloomy, dark weather causes SAD symptoms, vitamin D supplements can help tremendously.