How to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

The short grey days of winter make us feel growing old and frail, but it is a normal winter experience. When we feel constantly sad for no reason, having trouble with sleep, and spend days lounging on the couch, eating comfort food, and watching television or surfing social media sites. Think we are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

SAD is also called seasonal depression: this is a form of depression that generally happens in late fall when there is less sunlight and days become shorter and cold. SAD can also happen in summer, but that is much less common.

It is been observed that women are more prone to SAD than men, and it is more commonly found in the cloudy parts of the areas farther from the equator.

The common symptoms of SAD include:

  • Serious mood swings when seasons change
  • Want of energy
  • Overeating
  • Difficulty with sleep

Ways to combat SAD

Regular Exercise

As the temperature plummets outside, it’s tempting to skip a workout, watch online movies, and stay snuggled up all day. But, if you think you may have SAD, hitting the gym is a good way to combat it. Moving your body will fight with the tendency to be glum and can produce good brain chemistry. Try not to give in, even if you don’t feel like going out for a run, then look for indoor activities that you can enjoy or try snowshoeing to make the best of the cold weather.

In Kashmir, we have a snow festival each year at Gulmarg, most of the people tend to spend some time in Gulmarg, you can visit on weekends Gulmarg and enjoy the best weather. Also, those who want to overcome this fear of SAD, should take a long walk to the downtown area, and explore the art and architecture. My mother used to tell me that during her childhood they would go by foot to Dargah, Hazratbal Shrine on every Friday to offer Salah. I think that is missing in Kashmir nowadays, people throng to shrines but on motor vehicles, they should switch the habit and walk and talk.

The government also should create events in winter such as food festivals where people will go and celebrate the togetherness, that will also boost the immunity of people who would get a pretext to walk and celebrate the love and affection of fellow Kashmiris.

Create Events or Socialize

I understand that the fear of Covid-19 is still hanging in the air, but following the proper protocols, socialization will hunker down the urge of staying home which often results in less social interaction. The private vendors and other food units should create social events where they will keep available tea snacks and invite people to socialize and enjoy the best of the winter festivals. If that is not possible, invite friends, and close relations to your home on weekends and interact with them, that will lift your spirits.


Eat a balanced diet

Eat healthy food is always recommended which includes a sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals.

If your depressive mood still sticks for more than two weeks, consult a doctor. But avoid going to the doctor, use natural therapy to warm your body, and socialize. I know Kashmir has gone through many upheavals, but I wish all people to stay happy and warm not like walking with serious mood. Sometimes they need to smile and laugh.