How Can Freelancers Prevent or Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to seasonal changes. Symptoms often appear in the fall and winter and improve in the spring and summer (but that’s not always the case). SAD can also occur in reverse, called summer seasonal affective disorder, but is less common.
The exact cause of SAD is unknown, but it’s thought to be linked to a lack of sunlight, which can disrupt the body's circadian rhythm and affect the balance of hormones that regulate mood. Some people are more susceptible to SAD than others, and it may be linked to genetic factors or the biological makeup of a specific person.
Freelancers can combat SAD if they maintain a routine, get plenty of natural light, practice self-care, and get professional help. They can also adjust their work roles and environment to manage better their seasonal affective disorder symptoms, such as working in a brighter space or adjusting their work hours.
Why Do People Get SAD?
People get SAD due to a lack of exposure to natural light and changes in the body's internal clock, which can affect mood and energy levels. The decrease in daylight during the fall and winter can lead to seasonal affective disorder symptoms. Summer seasonal affective disorder, on the other hand, can be caused by an increase in daylight and higher temperatures.
While SAD can impact anyone, certain position or career paths that require working indoors can increase the likelihood of developing SAD. It's important for people experiencing SAD to seek professional help and apply self-care strategies to combat the condition.
What Are the Main Symptoms of SAD?
The main symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include depression, anxiety, hopelessness, decreased energy levels, oversleeping, changes in appetite, and difficulty concentrating. According to seasonal affective disorder statistics, it affects around 10 million people in the U.S. each year.
The relevant person must recognize the signs and seek help if necessary. Self-care strategies, seeking professional help, and utilizing career resources can also help laborers protect their well-being.
How Can Freelancers Fight SAD?
Knowing SAD-preventing strategies is important for freelancers to maintain their productivity and mental health throughout the year. This includes methods to combat seasonal affective disorder summer and SAD in the fall and winter months. Otherwise, freelancers might struggle to maintain their work output and well-being.
Get Enough Sunlight
One of the main strategies for preventing SAD is to get more sunlight. Freelancers can do this by taking breaks and going outside during the day or at least investing in lights for seasonal affective disorder that mimic natural sunlight. You can find those through a quick Internet search or consulting a healthcare professional.
Another tip is to organize the workspace near a window to increase natural light exposure. Even without the support of an organization or department, you can implement small changes to adjust your workspace or schedule to accommodate your SAD symptoms better.
If these self-care strategies aren't effective, other options exist, such as seasonal affective disorder light therapy or seeking professional help. Remember, it's essential to prioritize your mental health and utilize available resources to manage your symptoms and maintain high productivity.
Take Frequent Breaks
Taking frequent breaks can help freelancers fight SAD. Use these breaks to step outside and get more natural light, exercise, or simply rest and recharge.
Also, seeking out seasonal affective disorder treatments, such as light therapy or counseling, can be beneficial. No matter what your job description is and what accomplishments you have, it's never a mistake to ask for help.
Build Meaningful Connections
Building meaningful connections is an excellent way for freelancers to prevent SAD and prioritize seasonal affective disorder self-care. This can involve contacting a colleague, friend, or family for support and social interaction.
Also, supplements for seasonal affective disorder, such as vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids, can be beneficial if you don't get enough sunlight or nutrients in your diet. Making an inquiry with a healthcare provider to determine if supplements are viable is a good step.
Don’t Hide How You Feel
It's important for freelancers who experience SAD symptoms not to hide how they feel. This can lead to further stress and worsen your symptoms. Instead, seek support from family, friends, or colleagues, and discuss their symptoms with a therapist.
Employed freelancers can also consider talking to their employer or Human Resources Team about accommodations, such as more flexible scheduling or adjustments to their workspace, to manage their symptoms better.
Don't let your SAD symptoms keep you from pursuing your career goals. Your qualification and work experience speak for themselves, regardless of any mental health challenges. Be open about your struggles and put your self-care first.
But in addition to being vocal, you need to seek treatment if you feel like it. The preferred method of treatment for seasonal affective disorder is often light therapy or counseling (combined with SSRIs if necessary). Seasonal affective disorder tests can also help diagnose and manage symptoms.
Practice Gratitude for What You Have
Practicing gratitude can be a powerful additional tool for freelance professionals in seasonal affective disorder therapies. Here are some reasons why:
- Gratitude can shift focus away from negative thoughts and emotions, reducing stress and anxiety.
- It promotes positive thinking and helps individuals find joy in their everyday experiences.
- Gratitude can improve relationships with others, leading to a stronger support system and increased feelings of happiness and fulfillment.
- It can help individuals develop a more positive outlook and increase resilience in facing challenges.
To incorporate gratitude into daily life and save time and money on future seasonal affective disorder treatment, you can:
- Keep a gratitude journal, jotting down a few things you're grateful for daily.
- Practice mindfulness and being present in the moment.
- Express gratitude to others through words or actions.
- Reflect on past challenges and find ways to be thankful for the growth and learning from those experiences.
By the way, practicing gratitude can positively impact professional life. Employers value candidates who display a positive attitude and appreciation, as it can improve team dynamics and contribute to a more positive work environment.
When applying for a job, highlighting experiences where gratitude played a role can be a positive addition to a resume or cover letter. Employers may prioritize candidates who exhibit a positive mindset and gratitude during hiring decisions.
Make a Killer Playlist
Finally, a killer playlist can be an effective SAD-preventing strategy for a freelancer. Music can uplift mood, increase energy levels, and promote relaxation. Studies show that listening to music can also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, which are often associated with seasonal affective disorder.
To create a playlist that helps fight SAD, consider adding songs that:
- Have upbeat lyrics
- Have a fast tempo that makes you want to dance or move
- Remind you of happy memories
- Bring you a sense of calm and relaxation.
Freelancers can incorporate music into their workday by playing it in the background while handling the writing business, designing, or doing other work. Music can also be used with different SAD-preventing strategies, such as light therapy for seasonal affective disorder.
So if you are struggling with SAD, it’s a good idea to consult a career advice expert and an art therapist. They’ll help you create a playlist tailored to your specific needs.
SAD is a genuine mental health concern affecting many people, including freelancers. Several effective strategies can be employed to prevent or at least manage SAD symptoms. Get more sunlight, take frequent breaks, build meaningful connections, practice gratitude, and listen to a killer playlist.
As a freelancer, you must prioritize your mental health and implement these strategies into your daily routine. And please remember that seeking professional help and treatment is always an option. By taking proactive steps to prevent and manage SAD, you can maintain your well-being and productivity and continue to thrive in your career.