Today is the first day of Fall. It’s that time of year when the days are getting shorter, it gets darker earlier, and the trees shed their leaves. For some, fall is their favorite season. For others, it represents the impending doom of winter and oncoming seasonal depression. If you’ve ever experienced seasonal depression you understand the impact that the changing of season represents. What used to be known as Seasonal Affective Disorder is now listed as a specifier within a Major Depressive Disorder diagnosis. A provider would indicate a depression diagnosis and then identify a “with seasonal pattern” note. If you struggle with your mood when the season changes, there are some steps you can take.
- Talk to your provider—first and foremost tell your healthcare provider and they can discuss your options.
- Stay on a schedule—you can then expose yourself to light at predictable times.
- Exercise—maintain a good fitness regimen to keep your mind and body releasing the positive chemicals that help fight the blues.
- Take a vacation—plan to go somewhere sunny so you can have something to look forward to.
- Vitamin D—when you talk to your provider, have your Vitamin D levels tested. Speak to them about a vitamin D supplement, which can help combat seasonal depression.
We, fortunately, live in Colorado, a state with approximately 300+ days of sunshine per year, but you should still be aware of and track your feelings of depression. Keep a journal and note the weather. If you notice your mood lift as soon as the season appears to heading to spring, you might very well experience seasonal depression. You can seek seasonal depression counseling at Mending Hearts Counseling, which provides northern Colorado counseling services for the Fort Collins, Greeley, Windsor, and Loveland areas. Contact Mending Hearts Counseling at 970-344-9572 or via this online link.