Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Strategies for Improving Mood and Energy During Winter Months

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that typically occurs during the winter months when daylight hours are shorter. Symptoms can include feelings of sadness, fatigue, and irritability, as well as changes in appetite and sleep patterns. While SAD can be challenging, there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms and feel better.

One effective way to manage SAD is to increase your exposure to natural light. This can be done by spending time outside during the day, sitting near a window, or using a light therapy box. Light therapy involves sitting in front of a special light box for a set amount of time each day, typically in the morning. The light from the box mimics natural sunlight and can help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve your mood.

Exercise is another important tool for managing SAD. Regular physical activity can help boost your mood and increase your energy levels. Even small amounts of exercise, such as taking a daily walk or doing gentle yoga, can be beneficial. In addition to exercise, maintaining a healthy diet and getting enough sleep can also help improve symptoms of SAD.

If you’re struggling with symptoms of SAD, it’s important to seek professional help. A qualified mental health provider can work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include therapy, medication, or other interventions. With the right support and strategies, it’s possible to manage symptoms of SAD and feel better throughout the winter months.


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