Putting a Full-court Press on Seasonal Affective Disorder

full court pressWhen I was playing basketball in high school (badly), we often used the full-court press against worthy opponents. In this defensive strategy, rather than waiting for them to get the ball nearer the basket to score, we put stronger man-to-man pressure on them for the length of the court, which allowed us to better anticipate their moves and to respond to changes more quickly.

I often think of the approach to Seasonal Affective Disorder in a similar way. Rather than letting it sneak up on me as I did for many years, I have learned to anticipate and respond to the various parts of SAD – the wooden limbs, the sleepiness, the depressed mood, the lack of motivation – by incorporating a number of proven changes before or as close to when they happen as possible.

These approaches have included (not necessarily all every year or at the same time):

  • Intentional exposure to natural light and light box therapy
  • Use of alternative and complementary therapies
  • Changes in my approach to bedtime and sleep
  • Changes in my diet and dietary supplements
  • Changes in my exercise schedule
  • Speaking with a therapist
  • Use of anti-depressants
  • Meditation
  • Journaling

By taking the full-court press approach to SAD, we can feel empowered and improve our experience of this beautiful season.

Dr. Peter Bongiorno and I will be discussing this approach to SAD (minus the basketball analogy) this coming Monday night @ 6:30 pm at the 92nd Street Y.

More details and a link to register can be found HERE.