8 tips for staying positive during SAD season, from a psychiatrist

Experiencing less daylight in the winter months, like February, can make you feel, well, kind of sad — and I don’t just mean the feeling. 

As we near the end of October, we approach what is commonly referred to as SAD season, a time when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) impacts many, according to Anisha Patel-Dunn, a psychiatrist and chief medical officer of LifeStance Health, an outpatient mental health company.

“Seasonal affective disorder really is a type of depression that can last on average about four to five months,” says Patel-Dunn, “For most people, it’s really [during] fall into the winter.”

Coupled with the lack of sun, mass layoffs and fears of a recession are contributing to the intense emotions that arise during this time of year, she adds. Critical times when SAD is the most prevalent ranges, but it’s typically at its worst during late October through late February, says Patel-Dunn.

A few common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are having a depressed mood for most of the day over the course of two weeks or more, lack of pleasure in doing things you used to enjoy and changes in energy, motivation, sleep or appetite, she notes.

Here are some tips and tools to help you power through this SAD season.

8 tips for maintaining positive mental health during SAD season

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