As the new term begins, the days are beginning to get longer and for those who suffer with S.A.D there is finally a glimpse of hope. For some people the winter months are harder to deal with and here are some tips on how to manage if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder whilst at university.
Known as the winter depression, something small that will help you in feeling more like yourself again is by taking Vitamin D supplements. They’re inexpensive and make a massive difference as they make up for the deficit of vitamin D that your body produces due to lack of sunlight – although admittedly it’s not exactly the same as going on a holiday and soaking up the rays the way we’d all like to.
Getting out as much as possible can be easier said than done, but spending time with your friends and out in the fresh open air really does make a difference. I always find that when I’m feeling at my worst, being outside does positively impact by mood and helps in feeling less isolated from everyone and lonely. Instead of shying away from your friends because you don’t want to see them, perhaps try making a conscious effort with them instead. It’s the hardest part, motivating yourself, but one of the simplest and most effective ways of managing S.A.D.
Though there may be less light during the day, making the most of it is hugely important. Small things, such as sitting by a window and staying in light, open rooms and spaces is making the most of what light you have and increasing your light exposure, something you should be aiming to do. Whilst it may sound like such an insignificant thing, it isn’t something to just laugh off. The little things do make a difference.
Exercise is something that helps release endorphins and other feel-good chemicals. A regular exercise routine is helpful not only for that, but also as it helps give stability and routine within your life and through this may be able to help you feel better about yourself. This confidence boost may help you in continuing with your everyday life, despite your struggles, and continue going to lectures and seminars successfully. Never underestimate the power of an exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, even making sure that you go for a walk or reach your 10,000 steps a day counts for something and will help you in the long run.
SAD light boxes aren’t cheap however, they are affective. Producing artificial sunlight, these boxes are a good alternative to sunbeds, and you are able to use from the comfort of your own home. Unlike the other tips, these do come out around £50 minimum, but depending on the amount you would use it, it may be an affordable option for you. With great reviews, and being recommended on the official website for SAD, they are seemingly worth the money, however on a student budget this sadly may not be easily available to most of us.
SAD isn’t something to hide or shy away from, as 1 in 3 people suffer from it. Talk about how you are feeling with your friends, and get the support you need in order to make an already stressful time a bit easier. These tips will hopefully help in making it all the more manageable as winter finally draws to a close.