How Planning Ahead can Help Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Full of energy in the summer but a sloth once winter comes? Plan ahead to set yourself up for a better winter.  


Self-care is super important for managing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). If you deal with SAD, you’re likely fatigued and feeling low in the winter. Plan ahead to make life a little easier for yourself. Here are some tricks:

Hire a house cleaner

I always thought having a house cleaner was a luxury that I couldn’t afford. Now, in the winter, I know it’s a necessity for my wellness that I need to prioritize. When my energy is low, it’s all I can do to make it through my workday and take care of my family. Cleaning the house is the last thing I need to worry about.  Even if my budget is tight, I’ll schedule a single visit from a cleaner to do a deep clean. I still have to do the dishes and the laundry, but at least the dust and dirt is gone.

Write your holiday cards and buy your holiday gifts in the summer or early fall

A few years back I started celebrating Christmas two weeks early. My son spent his holiday with his grandparents and my husband often worked on Christmas day. At first I thought I’d be sad to celebrate Christmas early. Then I realized that it was amazing to be able to enjoy the day with family, some cooking, and very little stress. Now that my older son is out of the house, we’re back to celebrating Christmas on the proper day. I still try to make all of my purchases early. With my new understanding of how winter affects my mood and energy, I’ve started to look forward to it. Plus, you can get some really good deals at the end of summer/early fall. Just be careful that your significant other doesn’t open those Amazon packages! My son just got an early Christmas present that way.

Plan a vacation to a sunny spot

The anticipation and planning of a vacation to a sunny spot can help lift your mood in the winter. Knowing you’ll have a reprieve will give you relieve even before you take your trip. Then, of course, the trip itself will give you a much needed break from the winter. 

Plan your winter spending

Staying warm in the winter can be expensive, so be prepared! Many companies allow you to get on a fixed monthly plan for your heating oil or electricity. You can save on winter clothing by purchasing it on sale at the end of the winter season. You may have to wait months to wear your new clothes, but you can look forward to wearing them!

Plan your winter survival strategy

Using the tips on this site and your own ideas about how to do winter your way, put together a plan of what your next winter will be like. Commit to exercising, purchase supplements, teas, and socks in advance. Schedule activities with friends and family so you have things to look forward to all winter long.

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