Five ways to beat SAD postpartum (seasonal affective disorder)

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Oh no. Here it comes. That dreary-weary time of year when your mood takes a dive and you have less energy than a sloth.

As if us moms don’t have enough on our plates. As if our moods and emotions haven’t already gone through a rollercoaster. As if we have the time for this. And yet here it comes. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD.)

Although SAD isn’t classified as depression, it can still be pretty serious. Top it off with the holiday overwhelm (and everything that may already be happening postpartum,) it can feel like more than just the winter blah’s.

Of course, if your mood seems dangerously low, professional help is imperative. Otherwise, here are a few things that can help to lift your spirits for the next few months.

1 – Walk and Exercise

Even though I love a daily walk and I pretty much live at the gym, I have to admit – it’s hard to push myself out the door when I’m already low on energy. But it’s such a mood booster.

if you’re too lethargic to even get out of the house, start by indulging in a long stretch – even if it’s in bed – and then maybe an exercise routine from Youtube. However, the endorphin magic happens after a moderate intensity workout or a brisk, sunny walk.

2 – A Therapeutic Light Lamp

When it comes to gadgets, I’m a skeptic, but this is a little tool that leaves me feeling energized and in control of my mood.

Sunlight triggers serotonin production – the happiness hormone. Reduce that exposure, and you can get SAD. “But I barely see daylight!” you exclaim. Well then, go for the next best thing.

My doctor recommended I use a therapeutic light lamp for thirty minutes every day while I complete my morning routine. I love it.

3 – Healthy Routines

For some people, life runs like a well-oiled machine. These people follow a schedule. They pre-cook their meals. They put away their things. I’m not one of those people. I live haphazardly, and secretly envy my organized friends.

So when my mood is up and down, forcing myself to follow a routine gives me a sense of control and accomplishment. (Especially if I take care of all the basics even if I don’t feel like it.) For me this means a morning routine and daily exercise. For you it could be meal planning and getting to bed on time. Start with something simple and go from there.

4 – Get on the Hygge Train

All the way from Denmark, hygge is intentional coziness. Think candles and blankets. Think a mug of hot chocolate. Think a quiet moment with a book or a cuddle with your family. Go full-out hygge and truly indulge in your surroundings and atmosphere. After all, there’s a reason that the Danes consistently top the World’s Happiness Report.

(Read more about a Hygge Holiday)

5 – Connect and Slow Down

You’d think all these holiday gatherings would energize you, but somehow you’re left drained. This time of year is oddly busy and lonely at the same time.

Give yourself permission to slow down. To actually enjoy this time. Whether that means connecting with the friends you actually like, with your family, your pets, or connecting with yourself, you’re allowed to have a balance.

That’s that! Have you ever been hit with SAD? Let us know on Instagram @marsandstarsbaby


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