Avoiding SAD After Moving to Little Rock

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

SAD after MovingAs exciting as moving to Little Rock is, sooner or later the moving high disappears and you return to this planet with a great big thud. If re-entry is during the winter season, it can lead to seasonal depression--also called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Especially if your move has brought you somewhere where winter is indeed a thing--such as if you've moved from Texas to Oregon-you must be prepared for some seasonal anxiety and learn how to keep it in check through to the spring thaw.

Should you recall anything about high school geography, the further north you are, the less daytime there will be throughout the winter and fall seasons. The brief days usually come together with dark gray days, so that it seems like the sun rarely shines for many days at a stretch. Then all you want to do is hibernate--stay home, snooze, binge watch movies, and simply avoid the human race. When you have just moved across the country and are in a new location, and you have not really established a new routine yet, it is much easier to get caught in the grip of seasonal depression. Thus, here's how you can treat it from your own home, or some therapies a pro might prescribe if you can't keep it at bay on your own.

One note--SAD is indeed a thing--the Mayo Clinic treats it, as well as the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) includes it. If you feel the signs and symptoms of depression that come with winter time, seek therapy in case you have had the signs and symptoms before.

Add light to Your Environment

Light Therapy

Phototherapy is the miraculous bullet for many people with SAD. It is a basic therapy that professionals believe transforms your brain balance with half hour per day of exposure; There are no real adverse effects and it's a home therapy, so it is worth an attempt. You will want a light box that releases at least 10,000 lux (lux factors in the intensity of the lighting). Sit by the box--around 16 and 24 inches away from you--while you enjoy your morning coffee, not gazing head on at the light but with your eyes open. Make sure the light box is made specifically for SAD therapy, as it will get rid of UV light.

Straightforward things--higher-watt light bulbs, opening window coverings during the day, and sitting by a window where you work, if possible--that get you to more light may have a noticeable benefit. Cut back any tree limbs that hang across your house to allow in more natural light, and investigate installing skylights to let all the sunshine you can to the house.

Get Outdoors

Take a stroll, eat your lunch time outside--anything to soak up a handful of weak wintertime sun. Even just a minimal increase of Vitamin D is good for you and also heading out-of-doors for a short stroll takes care of that in addition to getting your heart rate up. Early morning sun--even on overcast days--packs more of a wallop as opposed to weak mid-day sunshine, so try to head out to get going with your day.

Workout and Connect with Others

Exercise is the standard protocol for helping any variety of depression--it gets the endorphins flowing, which in turn helps reduce the signs and symptoms of tension and anxiety. If perhaps your new house is in a locale where cold weather sports are common, find a new hobby--snow skiing, ice skating, maybe ice fishing. Strive to go outside and socialize, even if it is simply having a meal or having coffee with acquaintances.

Professional Intervention

In the event your SAD lasts when you have attempted to manage it yourself, you should obtain a physician's guidance. A psychologist or psychiatrist will perform an in depth assessment of your physical and mental wellness and evaluate whether your symptoms are truly seasonal or the start of a more severe depression. Among the first questions they will ask is if any additional family members are prone to SAD--it is assumed to be hereditary. Treatments might be talk therapy, relaxation or meditation, or perhaps short-term prescription for antidepressants.

Do not forget that as wintertime gives way to springtime, so will your SAD decrease as the days get lengthier as well as more comfortable. In the meantime, please seek therapy for your SAD in order to delight in your wellbeing in your new home after moving to Little Rock.

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