It’s the season of the big SAD, a.k.a your friend Seasonal Affective Disorder.
In D.C., the average number of sunshine hours drops from 282 in June to 140 in January (RIP). The lack of sunlight can affect our melatonin and serotonin levels, mess with our circadian rhythms, and decrease our vitamin D. For some people, this can lead to major depression symptoms.
Besides just waiting around for spring, there are some things you can do to get back to your sunny self.
- Get a therapist! It’s 2023 people, just do it. They can lead you through coping strategies, stress management, and if needed, can prescribe some good ole’ Lexapro. D.C. also has a free access helpline for psychiatric care.
- Light therapy. Try to spend some time outside every day, or invest in a light box to use in the morning. Both have been proven to help treat SAD.
- Take vitamin D daily.
- Exercise regularly. It doesn’t have to be intense, and D.C. has tons of cheap and free options to motivate you. Work on your balance at the ice rinks, make it a party with DC Bike Party, or join one of the city’s many neighborhood walking groups.
What are some ways you like to stay active and keep the seasonal blues at bay in D.C.?
If you or someone you know is in crisis or at risk for self harm, please call 911.