10 Things on My Seasonal Affective Disorder Holiday Wish List
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) takes a toll on many of us residing in colder climates. Autumn’s arrival brings shorter days, plummeting temperatures and soon after, snow, ice and bitter winds. Winter weather can keep us within the refuge of our cozy homes, preventing engagement in activities that warmer months permit, and acquiring the vitamin D our bodies synthesize from direct sunlight. In milder cases, SAD can cause fatigue, moodiness with an emphasis on more “blue” moods, can affect appetite and sometimes in severe cases, cause full-blown depression. I have struggled with SAD in conjunction with bipolar disorder for 20 years now. While there is no “cure,” there are specific items that can help ease symptoms, or at least provide temporary comfort.
Here is my wish list of things that can positively impact the life of someone experiencing SAD:
1. Light Lamp
At least 10,000 lux is recommended in order to be effective. I sit beside one for 20 to 30 minutes every morning, which I spend sipping coffee, checking e-mail and social
media. Note: people with bipolar disorder need to consult their doctors before using light therapy because of their potential to induce manic states.
I recommend the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp.
2. Liquid Vitamin D3
Since we are getting less sunlight during the winter, a vitamin D supplement can be very helpful. Liquid formulations are more readily absorbed by the body than capsules.
I recommend Optimal Vitamin D3 liquid.
3. Aromatherapy Bath Soaks
When it’s freezing outside, having a hot bath with therapeutic bath soaks can be a great way to unwind after a stressful day.
I recommend Asutra Ultimate Relaxation Bath Salts.
4. Cozy Blanket
Items that increase comfort and warmth always have positive effects.
I recommend this super soft and fuzzy blanket.
5. Yoga mat
A daily yoga practice can help both depression and the anxiety that often accompanies it. I find a home practice to be better than attending public classes. There are many YouTube channels that offer full length free yoga videos.
I recommend this foam yoga mat.
6. Dry Skin Lotion
Applying lotion is fantastic for self-care and can help you feel more connected to your body if one of your symptoms is dissociation.
I recommend Alba Botanical lotion.
7. Thermal Socks
As difficult as it can be, getting outside can combat the effects of SAD. Dressing appropriately is key.
I recommend these wool socks.
A necessity for any outdoor venture.
I recommend these North Face mittens.
A hot cup of herbal tea is an easy way to self-soothe. Herbal teas are ideal because they don’t have caffeine, which can contribute to anxiety and agitation.
I recommend Stash’s Tea Sampler.
Writing out thoughts and feelings is good therapy. It’s also great for mood tracking and gratitude lists.
I recommend this Moleskin notebook.
SAD can be difficult to cope with, but it can be managed more easily with self-care, in addition to talk therapy and possibly medication. I hope this list offers ideas on gifts to purchase for yourself or someone close to you who struggles with seasonal affective disorder.
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