How to Prepare for Seasonal Affective Disorder

With the temperatures dropping outside and the clocks changing in just a few days, that means one thing: winter is coming.

For some, winter is a time full of skiing, holidays, and fun. However, for others, winter is a time of sadness.

If the latter sounds familiar to you, know that you aren’t alone. Experts estimate that millions of people in America deal with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) every year. It may seem impossible to fight those feelings of depression this time of year. It gets dark earlier which means your energy levels drop. The weather is colder which means you’re likely to spend more time outdoors and not get that nurturing time in nature. And exercising seems harder to do, which can certainly affect your mood.

If you’re nodding your head “yes” to all of the above, then don’t worry – there is good news.

Since SAD isn’t new to you, chances are good you know when it’s bound to strike. For some, that’s as soon as the weather turns. And for others, it’s not until after the holiday season come January when things start to slow down.

Regardless of when it happens for you, it’s important to plan ahead so that you make changes to your life that may prevent you from getting to that SAD place at all.

Prepping to avoid SAD

Sign up for Pilates

One of the best ways to beat SAD is to get out of your house and exercise. That’s even better when that exercise is a class like those at Pilates Platinum that provides you with a social experience and a guided class that takes the thinking out of the equation for you. All you have to do is show up (which we know is hard in the winter) and follow the Pilates teacher’s instructions.

Consider taking these classes with a buddy so that you have someone to hold you accountable.

Try new workouts, too

This is a great time to switch things up and try some indoor workouts that you’ve been interested in doing, but haven’t tried yet. If you incorporate some variety into your winter exercises, you’re probably more likely to stick to working out rather than opting for a morning on the couch.

Plan social time

Since winter can often turn into a time of hibernation, make an effort to schedule something social at least once a week. Though staying at home and watching Netflix may sound good, after a few weeks of that and not enough socializing, you will find your mental health struggling.

Keep that from happening in the first place and find something fun to do with others at least one time a week.

Pick up a new hobby

The cooler months are a great time to dive into an untapped skill or enjoy a hobby that you previously didn’t have time for. This can be thinking like baking, journaling, meditating, a book club, game nights, coloring, and more. The possibilities are endless. Get creative and have fun exploring a new part of you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

There’s no denying that winter can be a tough time of year for many people. So don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. That can mean calling up a friend, a family member, or even finding a professional to help guide you through these challenging times. You don’t have to do it alone.