Seasonal Depression: what health experts say you can do to combat it

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– With an ongoing pandemic, the holidays, daylight savings being over, and an intense election, there’s no doubt this is a stressful time.

This time of year, health experts warn of seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal depression, according to administrative director for behavior health services at Sparrow hospital, Tim Davis.

“We’re heading into a greyer time, a darker time, with daylight savings being over,” David said.

Some warning signs include loss of appetite, apathy and an increase in sleeping, but these won’t just appear overnight.

It’s also not just adults that can be impacted by seasonal depression, so can children and teens.

“The friends need to be watching each other, the kids because the kids aren’t necessarily going to confide in their parents or older folks, they’re going to be confiding in their friends,” Davis added.

Author, Amy Wilinski-Lyman has wrote children’s books in the past, teaching children about depression. She just released another book recently on the same topic, and it couldn’t be more timely. From online schooling, canceled sporting events and isolation away from friends and teachers, younger generations are also being impacted by the stresses this year has brought.

“I think it’s especially timely to help kids if anything just know they’re not alone and there’s a name for what they have and it’s a real deal and there’s hope for them,” said Wilinski-Lyman.

There are ways to combat seasonal depression. Davis says something as simple as finding a new hobby…” distracting yourself with something new not only refreshes the mind but also gives you something else to stretch your mind toward that you may have not done before, so it’s a new pathway.”

Or even changing the lighting in your home. Davis says “florescent light is indicative of work areas, schools, public areas right? And they’re bright and they’re intended to be for safety, people that have lots of those in their homes does that make your home a restful place if it’s harkening back to work and public spaces?”

Davis says it’s also important to take more control of what you can, like following a schedule. During this pandemic, many may feel like they don’t have control of what’s going on.

“We’re used to controlling our lives, at least to some extent, so taking control how you can is going to be a real good way to begin to help individuals to feel more apart of what’s going versus being victim,” Davis added.

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