Seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder, is a common problem that has a number of treatments. It is fairly natural to feel sad or sluggish during the darker months, as sunlight stimulates the production of some neurotransmitters in your brain that help with lighter moods. If you are already prone to depression, you may feel some depression as the winter sets in, although if these feelings persist, consider getting professional help. In the meantime, try these treatments and see if one works to help you shake the mood:

1. Determine if you are depressed, and if it is indeed seasonal. If you feel down no matter what happens to you or are having trouble enjoying things that you normally love, you could be depressed. If you can figure out when it began, you can potentially link it to seasonal change. Think back to times you have felt this way in the past, were they around the same time?

2. Let some light into your life. Get outside on sunny days or throw open your curtains and let in as much natural light as you can. If you find yourself feeling worse on cloudy days, turn on lots of lights in your home.

3. Get lots of exercise. Exercising every day raises serotonin levels, acting as a free, healthy anti-depressant. A walk around the block can be it, or you can try to do more, but getting out of the house is a great start to lifting your mood. Do what you can, as the more you do the better you will feel.

4. Stop listening to sad music! When you are bummed, it is easy to turn on some music that matches your mood. Pick something completely different, upbeat, cheerful. This will sound a little weird at first, but it should start to lift your spirits after a while. Next thing you know, you’ll be dancing!

5. Talk to a doctor before considering herbal supplements, but they can be the extra boost that your body needs. Things like 5-HTP (hydroxy-tryptophan) or St. John’s Wort increase the body’s production of serotonin somewhat like an anti-depressant. Be sure to make sure that you can handle what you choose and that it will not clash with any prescription drug you are already on.

6. Talk to a friend about your feelings,it is possible that they feel that way too! Just knowing that you aren’t alone with your thoughts can be a big help in getting through depression. Talk to someone who you know really cares about you and feels that your happiness is their happiness. Don’t feel ashamed to be honest about your thoughts, there are people who want to know the truth!

If you ever feel that your sadness is getting in the way of your regular function, please seek professional help. This is especially important if you are having thoughts of harming yourself or others, if this is the case, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Read more useful and interesting information about maintaining wellness and general health at our Chicago chiropractic blog.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Rosenthal studied medicine at the University of Wisconsin. With more than ten years of experience in chiropractic medicine, Dr. Rosenthal practices medicine through his Chicago chiropractic clinic.