Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
If your seasonal depression symptoms are severe, you may need medications, light therapy or other treatments to manage seasonal affective disorder. However, there are some measures you can take on your own that may help. Try the following:
- Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds, trim tree branches that block sunlight or add skylights to your home. Sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.
- Get outside. Take a long walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning.
- Exercise regularly. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase seasonal affective disorder symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.
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- Seasonal pattern specifier. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed July 8, 2011.
- Ravindran AV, et al. Complementary and alternative medicine treatments. Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) clinical guidelines for the management of major depressive disorder in adults. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2009;117:S54.
- Sarris J, et al. Kava and St. John's wort: Current evidence for use in mood and anxiety disorders. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2009;15:827.
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