Avoiding SAD After Moving to Austin

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

SAD after MovingAs thrilling as moving to Austin has been, sooner or later the moving high fades away and you come back to this planet with a great big thud. If re-entry is throughout the winter season, it can lead to seasonal depression--also referred to as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Specially if your move has brought you a place where winter season is indeed a thing--like if you've moved from Arizona to Oregon-you need to be ready for some seasonal anxiety symptoms and learn how to deal with it till the spring thaw.

If you remember anything at all about high school geography, the further north you are, the less sunlight there is in the fall and winter periods. The shorter days usually go hand in hand with dark dull days, so that it may seem like the sun never shines for months at a stretch. This is when just about all you wish to do is hibernate--stay home, sleep, binge watch movies, and simply steer clear of the human race. If you have just moved across the country and are in a new location, and you haven't really settled into a new schedule yet, it's much easier to fall into the clutches of seasonal depression. Thus, here's how it is possible to address it at home, or some therapies a specialist might advise if you're unable to keep it from escalating without any help.

One note--SAD is actually a thing--the Mayo Clinic addresses it, and the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) contains it. If you feel the outward symptoms of major depression that come with winter months, get intervention if you have had the outward symptoms in the past.

Brighten Your Surroundings

Light Treatments

Phototherapy is the magic bullet for many people with SAD. It's a uncomplicated procedure which researchers think transforms your brain chemistry with 30 minutes a day of exposure; There are no substantial unwanted side effects and it is a home therapy, so it's worth a consideration. You will want a light box that emits a minimum of 10,000 lux (lux factors in the power of the light). Sit by the box--between 16 and 24 inches away--while you sip your morning drink, not looking exactly at the light source but with your eyes open. Be sure the box is made particularly for SAD therapy, because it will filter Ultraviolet light.

Basic things--higher-watt bulbs, opening window coverings during the day, and sitting by a window where you work, if possible--that expose you to additional light can have a detectable benefit. Trim back any shrub limbs that dangle across your home to let in additional light, and research installing skylights to let all the sun you'll be able to into the home.

Head Outside

Take a stroll, eat your lunch outside--anything to take in a handful of weak winter season sun. Even just a little boost of Vitamin D is ideal for you and also going outdoors for a small walk handles that in addition to getting your heart rate up. Early morning sun--even on cloudy days--packs a bigger wallop as opposed to weak afternoon sun, so try to get out to begin your day.

Exercise and Connect with Others

Being active is the standard method for helping almost any depression--it gets the endorphins working, which in turn relieves the symptoms of stress and anxiety. If your new home is in an area where winter sports are common, find a new pastime--snow boarding, ice skating, perhaps ice fishing. Strive to go outside and socialize, even if it's just eating supper or having a cup of coffee with colleagues.

Professional Intervention

Should your SAD persists once you have attempted to manage it yourself, you should get a physician's guidance. A psychologist or psychiatrist will perform a complete examination of your physical and mental health and assess if your symptoms are really seasonal or the beginnings of a more chronic depressive disorder. One of the first questions they will likely ask is if any additional family members are subject to SAD--it is thought to be hereditary. Treatment options might be talk therapy, relaxation or meditating, or perhaps short-term prescription for antidepressants.

Do not forget that as winter gives way to spring, so will your SAD decrease as the days get longer and more comfortable. In the meantime, please get treatment for your SAD in order to delight in your wellbeing in your new home after moving to Austin.

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