Seasonal depression is a more common term for a condition named SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD is a recurring depression that often occurs in the late fall and winter months. Here are some tips to help with symptoms of seasonal depression:

1. Mimic the sun. Purchase sunlamps that mimic the rays of the sun. Light therapy is one of the highest recommended treatments for seasonal depression.

· Sunlamps can cost anywhere from $100 to $250. However, the special sunlamp replacement bulbs can cost as little as $10 for a pack of three.

2. Nurture your social life. Being socially active is an important part of keeping up your spirits during the wintertime.

· Have a weekly dinner with your friends. If the weather is nasty, host a dinner in your home or head over to your friends’ house for a nice evening. If the weather allows, head out for an night out with loved ones.

3. Adapting to the empty nest. If your kids have moved out recently, the effects on your emotions can be more dramatic during the cold, dreary months. Find a way to communicate with your children regularly that still gives them their space.

· Find new hobbies that’ll enthrall you day in and day out, such as taling  a yoga class or getting involved in a local book club. If possible, involve your partner in your new hobbies.

4. Take a winter vacation. Head to a warm, sandy beach for a fresh perspective. Pack your bags and take a vacation to Florida or even a cruise in the Bahamas. Just two weeks, or less if your schedule is rigid, will make a world of a difference in your mood.

· If you’re low on funds, consider nixing your summer vacation in favor of a yearly winter vacation.Generally, SAD recurs every winter. Instead of fleeing your home during the warm summer months, think of a winter vacation as your secret weapon against combating seasonal depression.

In essence, you can effectively combat seasonal depression by being aware of both your behavior and environment. Make a conscious effort to boost your own spirits and refrain from slipping into a rut. Of course, if you fear that you’re suffering from SAD, contact a physician to ensure that your condition is safely treated.

With a few small changes, you can survive – and even thrive – through the dreary winter season. Spring will be right around the corner and the sunny weather and new perspective you crave can be yours, even before spring gets here.

Coping Skills Ward Off Seasonal Depression