9 Ways to Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Benevolent Family Services, uses the month of December to focus on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as the rainy day blues, impacts a number of people. The long and light-filled days of summer are officially gone and the dark and rainy days are here. If you or someone you know is impacted by SAD, or just has a little bit harder time getting along and having a good mood in the winter, here are 9 ways to fight seasonal affective disorder.


Just getting out there and moving around for 15 minutes a day, 3 or so days a week, has been clinically proven to be as effective as taking anti-depression medication.

Get enough sleep and keep to solid routines

Your body does well with 8 to 9 hours of sleep and will operate best when you have routine sleep/wake times.

Eat healthily

A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Stay engaged with people

We are social creatures and if you find yourself isolating – fight it! Take initiative, stay active.

Think and speak positive

Your mind is your secret weapon. Choose positive thoughts – choose to make it “80 and sunny” in your mind.

Get outside

Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colors that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.

Talk it through

Talking treatments such as counselling, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you cope with symptoms.

Join a support group

Think about joining a support group. Sharing your experience with others who know what it's like to have SAD is very therapeutic and can make your symptoms more bearable.

Seek help

If your symptoms are so bad that you can't live a normal life, see a doctor for medical help.