Fort Wellness Counseling

How to Prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a kind of depression occurring during certain months of the year. It usually happens during fall or winter, as shorter days and less daylight trigger a chemical change that causes depressive symptoms.

If you’re struggling with winter blues, know you’re not alone. SAD affects about 5% of Americans. And thankfully, there are several helpful habits that can minimize (or prevent) its effects.

Helpful Ways to Prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder

Here are some proven ways to minimize — or prevent — the depressive feelings associated with seasonal affective disorder:


If you’re susceptible to seasonal affective disorder, don’t isolate yourself. Staying in contact with others supports your mental health, and being around people can energize you while distracting you from any problems you’re facing. Therefore, go to social gatherings whenever you can. And even if you’re participating in a solo activity (like reading), try doing so in the company of others. An immediate action item you can take right now is reaching out to a friend that you can grab a cup of coffee with or go for a walk.  Remember, friendship is a two way street and it takes one of you to take initiative.  

Get Some Sunlight

Getting vitamin D and natural sunlight can elevate your mood and combat seasonal affective disorder. You can get vitamin D by taking a quick vitamin shot at Restore+Revive or by taking supplements like these from Taylor Dukes Wellness.   I’d encourage you to talk to your medical provider about options like these.  

However, if you work indoors or are unable to get outside, using a light box is a fantastic alternative. Light boxes mimic outdoor light, lifting your mood and easing symptoms associated with SAD. For optimal results, use the light box:

  • Within the first hour of waking
  • For about 20 to 30 minutes
  • About 16 to 24 inches from your face
  • With your eyes open, but without looking directly at the light

Eat Healthy

Maintaining a regular diet of wholesome, nutrient-dense meals ensures you’re getting the necessary vitamins and minerals to combat the effects of seasonal affective disorder. Make sure to balance your cravings for carbohydrates with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory foods, as this lowers your risk of developing depressive symptoms.


Research has shown that a daily, one-hour walk can reduce one’s risk of depression and significantly boost mood. How so? Well, low-impact aerobic activities — like running, dancing, and walking — release endorphins, which are hormones that minimize pain and increase feelings of well-being. Exercise also increases metabolism and boosts energy levels.

Pick Up a New Hobby

Picking up a new hobby can ward off depressive feelings associated with seasonal affective disorder. In fact, a study found that having a hobby can reduce symptoms of depression — as well as the risk of developing the condition — by as much as 30%.

Depression Therapists in Fort Worth, Texas

If you’re struggling with seasonal affective disorder, our Fort Wellness Counseling team can help. Depression is a treatable and manageable condition, and our depression therapists in Fort Worth use a variety of modalities to help people overcome those feelings.

Contact our team to discover how we can serve you or to schedule an introductory appointment today.

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