It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more
throughout your day and week. You can choose to do one or both types of
Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it's
always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise
Also try to do
exercises to strengthen muscles at least two times
each week. Examples include weight training or stair climbing on two or more
days that are not in a row. For best results, use a resistance (weight) that
gives you muscle fatigue after 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise.
Eating a healthy,
balanced diet is helpful for any type of depression and may help relieve some of
the symptoms of SAD.
The following complementary
treatments may be helpful in treating symptoms of SAD, although there currently
is not enough scientific evidence to prove their usefulness.
Be sure to check with your doctor before you try these
complementary therapies, because they may interact with other medicines you are
You should not take St. John's wort if you are taking other antidepressants. Also, St.
John's wort may cause light sensitivity. If you are using light therapy, you
may want to discuss with your doctor whether St. John's wort is right for you
in the treatment of SAD.
Research on the effectiveness of other
SAD treatments is ongoing.
Advice for caregivers
Sometimes family members and
friends are not sure how to help someone who has seasonal affective disorder.
It may help to:
- Spend time with your loved one even though he
or she may be withdrawn or quiet.
- Offer to help with daily tasks
that temporarily may be too difficult to do alone. But it is important that you
do not enable the person to remain depressed by taking over all of his or her
- Take a walk or do some other type of
exercise activity together. Getting out first thing in the morning for a walk
may be helpful.
- Help the person to stay with the prescribed
For more information on helping someone with SAD or
- Depression: Helping Someone Get Treatment.
- Depression: Supporting Someone Who Is Depressed.
Unfortunately, many people don't seek treatment for
mental health problems. You may not seek treatment because you think the
symptoms are not bad enough or that you can work things out on your own. But
getting treatment is important.
If you need help deciding whether
to see your doctor, see
some reasons why people don't get help and how to overcome them.