Len Rome’s Local Health: Preventing seasonal depression at the end of a gloomy year

Daybreak

For some of us, fall and winter are shaping up to be a real mental health struggle

(WYTV) – Our long, sunny days have slipped away. Everything’s turning colder and darker. Everything’s dying and don’t forget the coronavirus — it could be lurking right outside your door. Sounds pretty gloomy, doesn’t it?

We’ve been hiding from the virus and each other, and now seasonal depression is back.

Scott Bea, PsyD from the Cleveland Clinic, says for some of us, fall and winter are shaping up to be a real mental health struggle.

“If we’re already feeling some helplessness, hopelessness, irritability, confinement and we add the winter months to it — short daylight hours, limited exposure to daylight — those that are experiencing seasonal affective disorder are going to really be challenged.”

So before winter and trouble arrive, commit, for example, to an exercise program.

Plan to maintain your social connections with family and friends, get outdoors and keep busy with a structured schedule.

If you can, schedule your days in blocks of time with meaningful, recreational activities with others.

You won’t have time to dwell on misery, but real life.

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