By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
As thrilling as moving to Houston may be, sooner or later the moving high fades away and you come back to this planet with a great big thud. If re-entry is during the winter season, it can lead to seasonal depression--also referred to as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Specially if your move has brought you a place where winter is indeed a thing--like if you've gone from Texas to Oregon-you need to be ready for some seasonal anxiety and learn how to deal with it till the spring thaw.
If you remember anything at all about high school geography, the more north you are, the less sunlight you will find in the fall and winter periods. The shorter days usually go hand in hand with dismal dull days, so that it may seem like the sun never shines for months at a stretch. This is when virtually all you want to do is hibernate--stay home, snooze, binge watch movies online, and simply steer clear of the human race. If you have just moved across the country and are in a new location, and you have not really established a new schedule still, it is much easier to get caught in the grip of seasonal depression. Thus, here's how it is possible to treat it at home, or a few treatments a qualified professional might advise if you're unable to keep it from escalating without any help.
One note--SAD is a real thing--the Mayo Clinic addresses it, as well as the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) includes it. Should you feel the outward symptoms of major depression that come with winter months, get intervention if you've had the symptoms in the past.
Brighten up Your Surroundings
Phototherapy is the miracle bullet for many individuals with SAD. It's a uncomplicated procedure that scientists think changes your brain chemistry with 30 minutes a day of exposure; There are no substantial side effects and it is a home therapy, so it's worth a consideration. You will want a light box that emits at least 10,000 lux (lux factors in the power of the light). Sit by the box--between 16 and 24 inches away--while you drink your morning drink, not looking exactly at the light source but with your eyes open. Be sure the box is made specifically for SAD therapy, because it will filter UV light.
Simple things--higher-watt light bulbs, opening window coverings in the daytime, and sitting by a window where you work, if possible--that expose you to additional light can have a significant benefit. Trim back any shrub limbs that dangle across your home to let in additional light, and research installing skylights to let all the sun you'll be able to into the house.
Take a stroll, eat your lunch outside--anything to take in a handful of weak winter season sun. Even just a little boost of Vitamin D is ideal for you and also getting outside for a small walk takes care of that as well as getting your heart rate up. Early morning sun--even on cloudy days--packs a bigger wallop as opposed to weak afternoon sun, so make an effort to get outside to begin your day.
Exercise and Connect with Others
Being active is the standard method for helping any kind of depression--it gets the endorphins working, which in turn relieves the symptoms of anxiety. In the event that your new house is in an area where winter sports are popular, find a new pastime--snow boarding, ice skating, even ice fishing. Strive to go outside and socialize, even if it is simply eating supper or having a cup of coffee with colleagues.
If your SAD persists after you've attempted to manage it on your own, you should seek a doctor's guidance. A psychologist or psychiatrist will perform a detailed examination of your physical and mental health and assess if your symptoms are really seasonal or perhaps the beginnings of a more persistent depressive disorder. Among the first questions they will likely ask is if any other family members are subject to SAD--it is thought to be hereditary. Treatment options may be talk therapy, relaxation or meditating, or perhaps short-term prescription for antidepressants.
Do not forget that as winter gives way to spring, so will your SAD decrease as the days get lengthier and more comfortable. Meanwhile, please get treatment for your SAD in order to delight in your wellbeing in your new home after moving to Houston.
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