S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in Cambridge, MA - Therapy Tips

posted Aug 19, 2012, 7:15 PM by AJ Centore   [ updated Aug 19, 2012, 7:21 PM ]
Ahh yes, Fall, the season filled with Cambridge festivals, scary pumpkins, delicious Thanksgiving Turkeys, pies, yams, football games and so much more! Although Fall does sound like fun and games, it may not be for the most of us. Yeah that’s right, Fall’s festivities can be negatively affected by S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  This season is usually when S.A.D. starts and it affects not thousands, but millions of Americans! Who knows, you might have been a victim of S.A.D.! If any of these thoughts have been going through your head, you might be suffering from this disorder:


-       “All I feel like doing is sleeping”

-       “I have no energy to do anything”

-       “I constantly feel stressed”

-       “I am constantly sad, but I have no reason to be”

-       “I just need lots of comfort food”

-       “Where did these new aches and pains come from?”

-       “I’d rather just stay at home all day then go out and see my family and friends”


S.A.D. is a constant cycle, happening every year around the same time--especially in northern states like Massachusetts. Although you may have fallen victim to S.A.D. in the past, there is good news. There are ways to impede S.A.D. and steps you can take to avoid falling victim to this disorder. Here are a few therapy tips improve your immunity towards S.A.D. this year...


1)   Go to the gym. Instead of being a couch potato and soaking yourself in your own sorrow, go running, lift weights, do whatever it takes to break a sweat. If you don’t feel like driving to the gym or do not want to see other people, then exercise in the comfort of your home; this could be in your backyard. Exercise helps release serotonin, which boosts your confidence and gets rid of depression. Also, while exercising outside, the sun will provide you with Vitamin D, which not only revitalizes your body, but your mind and mood as well.


2)   It’s time to break up with carbohydrates (you two weren’t soulmates anyways). In the Fall, we tend to crave foods such as breads, pasta, and stew. These types of food are known as “comfort foods”. When experiencing S.A.D., eating these comfort foods will only make you, well, S.A.D.DER. You will feel lazier, more depressed, and more tired. Instead, focus on foods that provide you with tons of vitamins, such as fruits, fish, and nuts.  If you are looking for meals that fill you up while filling you with vitamins, try looking at a vegetarian menu. Vegetarian meals are great alternatives to meals that use “comfort foods”.  If avoiding carbohydrates is impossible, it is ok to eat them here and there, but remember, you are only going on occasional dates with these carbs, not marrying them.


3)   You gotta get the D, Vitamin D that is. When the sun begins to set at earlier times in the Fall, it’s not wonder why we start to feel down. Less sun = less Vitamin D. However, you can still absorb Vitamin D even without the sun. Are you a fan of milk? Fish? Egg yolks? Soymilk? Liver? Cereal? Oatmeal? Then you are in luck, because all of these foods have healthy amounts of Vitamin D. If you are lactose intolerant or on a diet that prohibits some of these foods, then you can purchase supplements and take your Vitamin D in a pill. Remember, the more Vitamin D you take in the less S.A.D. you will be.


4)   Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  When you are affected by S.A.D., usually you want to have nothing to do with anyone. However, if S.A.D. has affected you too much, seek counseling or other mental professionals who can help you. The symptoms of S.A.D. can also be symptoms of something even more serious; so don’t hesitate to seek help if S.A.D. starts to overwhelmed you.


The whole point of Fall and Winter is for you to enjoy their festivities and delicacies. Don’t let S.A.D. get in the way of your happiness. Just follow the steps above and the next time S.A.D. comes around, you will be immune to its effects; you will also be one step closer to living a healthier, happier life.