Cutting Down on SAD After Moving to Houston

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

SAD after MovingAs exciting as moving to Houston has been, eventually the moving high goes away and you return to earth with a great big thud. And when re-entry is throughout the winter months, it can result in seasonal depression--also termed SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Specially if your move has brought you somewhere where winter is actually a thing--for instance if you've moved from Texas to Minnesota-you should be ready for some seasonal anxiety and understand how to manage it through to the springtime thaw.

Should you recollect anything at all about high school geography, the further north you go, the less sunlight there is throughout the fall and winter periods. The shorter days usually go hand in hand with gloomy gray days, so that it feels like the sun rarely shines for days at a time. Then all you want to do is hibernate--stay at home, snooze, binge watch movies, and just steer clear of the world. If you have recently moved across the country and are in a new location, and you have not essentially settled into a new normal routine yet, you'll find it quicker to get caught in the grip of seasonal depressive disorder. Thus, here is how you can deal with it at home, or some therapies a professional may 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 the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) includes it. If you feel the symptoms of depression linked to winter season, find intervention if you have had the symptoms in the past.

Add light to Your Environment

Light Treatments

Phototherapy is the miracle bullet for many people with SAD. It's a simple procedure which scientists think modifies your brain balance with half hour per day of exposure; You won't notice any real side effects and it's a home treatment, so it is worth a chance. You'll need a light box that gives off no less than 10,000 lux (lux factors in the intensity of the lighting). Sit by the box--approximately 16 and 24 inches away--while you enjoy your morning coffee, not gazing exactly at the light source but with your eyes open. Make certain the light box is made just for SAD therapy, because it will get rid of UV light.

Easy things--higher-watt light bulbs, opening shades in the daytime, and sitting by a window where you work, if possible--that get you to extra light can have a notable benefit. Trim back all shrub limbs that dangle across your residence to allow in additional natural light, and investigate incorporating skylights to let all the natural light you possibly can to the residence.

Get Outdoors

Take a walk, enjoy your lunch outside--anything to soak up a few weak winter season sun light. Even a minimal increase of Vitamin D is ideal for you and also going outside for a small walk takes care of that along with getting your heart rate up. Early morning sun--even on overcast days--packs a greater wallop than the weak afternoon sunshine, so try to go outside to get going with your day.

Exercise and Socialize

Exercise is the normal process for helping any kind of depression--it gets the endorphins working, which relieves the outward symptoms of tension and anxiety. If perhaps your new residence happens to be in a locale where cold weather sports are widespread, take up a new pastime--snow skiing, ice skating, even ice fishing. Try to go outside and socialize, even if it is simply eating a meal or having coffee with colleagues.

Professional Intervention

If your SAD lasts after you've attempted to keep it in check by yourself, you should seek a physician's guidance. A psychologist or psychiatrist will perform an in depth evaluation of your physical and mental well-being and determine whether your signs and symptoms are actually seasonal or maybe the roots of a more persistent depressive disorder. One of the primary questions they'll ask is if any other family members are susceptible to SAD--it is assumed to be hereditary. Remedies could be talk therapy, relaxation or meditating, or possibly 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 and warmer. For now, please seek therapy for your SAD to help you take advantage of your wellbeing in your new home after moving to Houston.

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