Cutting Down on SAD Following Moving to Atlanta

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

SAD after MovingAs exhilarating as moving to Atlanta has been, sooner or later the moving high fades away and you come back to earth along with a great big thud. And when re-entry is over the winter months, it can lead to seasonal depression--also called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Especially if your move has brought you someplace where winter season is a real thing--such as if you've gone from Arizona to Michigan-you must be prepared for some seasonal anxious feelings and know how to manage it till the spring thaw.

If you recollect anything at all with regards to high school geography, the farther north you travel, the less daytime there will be during the winter and fall seasons. The brief days usually come together with dismal gray days, so that it feels like the sun hardly shines for days at a time. Then all you wish to do is hibernate--stay at home, snooze, binge watch movies, and just avoid the human race. For those who have just moved across the country and are in a new area, and you haven't essentially established a new routine yet, you'll find it much easier to succumb to the clutches of seasonal depression. Therefore, here is how you can treat it from your own home, or some therapies a pro could prescribe if you can't keep it under control without any help.

One note--SAD is actually a thing--the Mayo Clinic addresses it, and also the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) contains it. If you experience the signs and symptoms of depression linked to winter months, seek intervention if you've had the symptoms before.

Add light to Your Environment

Light Therapy

Phototherapy is the magic bullet for lots of people with SAD. It's a uncomplicated therapy that researchers think modifies your brain balance with 30 minutes a day of exposure; There are no real unwanted side effects and it's a home therapy, so it is worth a consideration. You will need a light box that emits no less than 10,000 lux (lux factors in the concentration of the lighting). Sit by the box--approximately 16 and 24 inches away from you--while you sip your morning coffee, not gazing straight at the light but with your eyes open. Make certain the light box is made particularly for SAD therapy, because it will get rid of UV light.

Simple things--higher-watt lights, opening curtains in the daytime, and sitting by a window where you work, if possible--that get you to extra light may have a notable benefit. Cut back any shrub limbs that dangle across your residence to allow in additional light, and investigate installing skylights to allow all the light you possibly can to the home.

Head Outdoors

Take a stroll, enjoy your lunch break outside--anything to soak up a handful of weak winter season sun. Even a small increase of Vitamin D is ideal for you and also getting out-of-doors for a short stroll satisfies that in addition to getting your heart rate up. Early morning sun--even on overcast days--packs a greater wallop versus the weak mid-day light, so try to get outdoors to get going with your day.

Workout and Socialize

Exercise is the standard method for helping any kind of depression--it gets the endorphins running, which in turn eases the symptoms of tension and anxiety. If perhaps your new residence is in a place where cold weather sporting activities are widespread, take up a new activity--snow skiing, ice skating, perhaps ice fishing. Strive to go outside and socialize, even if it is simply eating dinner or having coffee with acquaintances.

Professional Intervention

Should your SAD persists when you have attempted to manage it on your own, please get a medical professional's assistance. A psychologist or psychiatrist will perform a complete evaluation of your physical and mental wellness and assess whether your symptoms are truly seasonal or the beginnings of a more chronic depression. One of the first questions they'll ask is if any other family members are subject to SAD--it is thought to be hereditary. Treatment solutions might be talk therapy, relaxation or meditating, or even a short-term prescription for antidepressants.

Keep in mind that as the winter season gives way to springtime, so will your SAD lessen as the days get lengthier as well as warmer. Meanwhile, please get therapy for your SAD to help you enjoy your health in your new residence after moving to Atlanta.

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