Small changes that can help combat seasonal depression
Oct 15, 2023, 1:29 PM | Updated: 1:44 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – The weather’s slowly getting colder and the days are getting shorter. For many people, now is the time to be prepared to combat seasonal depression.
In the latest Let’s Get Moving with Maria podcast episode, Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Jason Hunziker, Behavioral Health Medical Director at Huntsman Mental Health Institute, to learn why we get seasonal depression this time of year and what we can do to prevent it from taking over our lives.
“About 5 percent of adults in the U.S. will experience seasonal affective disorder. That typically lasts about 40 percent of the year,” Dr. Hunziker said.
What often happens is that the changes in the weather lead people into hibernation mode. It also keeps them from receiving enough light to brighten up their day.
“We get less light, and that less light has an impact on our neurochemistry. People tend to feel more down, depressed, socially withdrawn,” Dr. Hunziker said.
If you’re feeling a dramatic change in your energy level, that’s one sign you might be falling into an unhealthy state of seasonal depression. Another sign is if you’re starting to avoid spending time with family and friends.
There are some easy ways you can combat seasonal depression. Letting some light into your life, maintaining a healthy and consistent sleep schedule, focusing on your nutrition, limiting your screen time and surrounding yourself with your loved ones all can make a big difference.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call 988, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (1-801-583-2500).