Don’t Let Seasonal Depression Derail Your Exercise Routine

 

Generally speaking, it is safe to exercise regardless of the weather outside. However, if you have seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the cold and snow might not be the biggest obstacle preventing you from sticking to your exercise routine. Instead, it may be the lack of sunlight that makes it difficult to find the energy to remain active. Let’s take a look at what you can do to motivate yourself to go for a run before school or to lift weights after work. 

 

Focus on Getting Started

 

When you’re physically or emotionally drained, the thought of working out for even a few minutes can seem overwhelming. However, once you get moving, it can be much easier to find the energy needed to complete a full workout. Therefore, getting out of your rut might be as easy as convincing yourself to stand up, put your sneakers on and start walking or running. 

 

Buy a Device That Produces Artificial Sunlight

 

For less than $50, you can buy a device that will create artificial light that has similar characteristics to natural sunlight. This can help to activate the regions in your brain responsible for regulating your mood or helping you wake up in the morning. 

 

Exercise With a Friend

 

The opportunity to spend time with a friend might outweigh the fact that you have to exercise on a day better suited to curling up under the blankets. Furthermore, this person can help to hold you accountable for adhering to your exercise goals. 

 

Reward Yourself for Overcoming Your Urge to Remain Sedentary

 

There are many different ways that you can reward yourself for choosing to take a brisk walk instead of watching reruns of your favorite sitcom. For instance, you could treat yourself to a new pair of shoes, an ice cream bar or a trip to your favorite restaurant. Alternatively, you can gift yourself an extra hour of television time to help you unwind after a stressful workout. 

 

Although SAD can have a profound impact on your life, staying active may make it easier to manage your symptoms. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe medication that can regulate your mood and make it easier to function during the cold and dreary winter months. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend, family member or a therapist if you have negative thoughts or simply need extra help getting through a bad day.