Combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as a Teacher

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to the changes in the seasons. Typically, a person would feel moody and have less energy in the fall and winter when there is less light and it is colder. Although you may not have an official diagnosis, many people find the fall and winter more difficult than the warmer months. Here are some ways to combat that.

  1. Buy a SAD light. A SAD light is a bright light you use for a certain amount of time a day, typically 30 min. Many people use is when they are reading or eating or watching TV. Many people I know swear by SAD lights and say they really do help improve their mood and energy (including my mom!).
  2. Go to bed earlier and get up earlier. (I know, I know – this one doesn’t sound that fun!) This way, you can get up with the sun and benefit from more sunlight during the day.
  3. Go for a walk during lunch. This not only allows you to get more sun, but also a bit of exercise and if you go with a friend, some socializing! Almost every school I know has a group of women who walk together over lunch!
  4. Plan outdoor lessons with your students. Science, Math and Physical Education all lend themselves to outdoor lessons. Or, you could take that walk with your class!
  5. If you find that you are really feeling low, consider talking with your doctor about it. It may be that you would benefit from therapy or medication. If you had a headache you would take medicine, right?


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