6 Signs of Seasonal Sadness and the Tech Tools That Can Help
Seasonal sadness is a type of depression that happens when the seasons change. It is a form of depression that is often called the winter blues because it most commonly comes up during the colder months. So if you ever feel symptoms like sadness, low energy, and moodiness when the weather gets colder, then it might be a sign of seasonal sadness, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder.
Suffering from seasonal sadness is pretty common, and there are some helpful steps you can take to fight the symptoms. Below are the most common signs of seasonal sadness and a handful of tech tools and apps that can help you when you start to feel blue.
1. Problems Concentrating
Struggling to concentrate or make decisions can be a common sign of seasonal sadness. Loss of concentration can make your negative feelings worse because you feel like you can’t get anything done. So, to combat this challenging sign of seasonal sadness, you can use a fun, lighthearted app like Forest.
The Forest app motivates you to grow your own magical forest of trees. However, the trick is that you have to steer clear of your mobile phone and stay focused on your chosen task. Otherwise, your trees will die. To begin, pick the tree you want to grow, set the focus time, and then choose your task. Tap Plant and let the growing begin.
The more you remain focused on your tasks, the more trees you can grow and watch thrive. The app features two different focus modes: Timer and Stopwatch. Plus, there is a range of beautiful and unique species of trees to plant in your forest.
Download: Forest for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
When seasonal sadness rolls in, you might feel yourself socially withdrawing. At this time, having some kind of social support is so important. When you can’t be with your friends and family in person, it’s time to think outside the box. The Lovebox is a fantastic little smart messaging device that can help you stay connected with your loved ones.
The Lovebox is not just a device that can bring couples closer together—anyone that has love for each other can use the Lovebox! This includes your best friends, parents, grandparents, and children.
But how does the Lovebox work? Simply connect your Lovebox to the companion app, and you can start sending GIFs, text messages, photos, drawings, stickers, and more. Then, watch the gadget spin when the message goes through to your loved one.
3. Trouble Sleeping or Oversleeping
Just like a lot of other forms of depression, seasonal affective disorder can disrupt your usual sleeping patterns. If you’re experiencing poor sleeping habits, perhaps you need a little help from the sleep aid device called Dodow. How does this small, unassuming device make it easier to doze off?
Dodow is a piece of sleep tech that ensures you get a better night’s sleep using a special light system that gently guides you to sleep. All you have to do is simply set the Dodow next to your bed, and it’ll shine an LED blue light onto your ceiling.
The rhythm of the light synchronizes with your breathing, makes you feel relaxed, and helps you finally fall asleep. Additionally, you have the option to set a sleep timer for 8 or 20 minutes before the Dodow switches off.
4. Weight Loss or Weight Gain
Seasonal sadness can bring about changes in your appetite, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain or weight loss. Sticking to a healthy diet is essential but not always as easy as it seems. That’s where the meal planning app MealPrepPro comes into the picture.
It’s easy to stick to your healthy eating goals with this meal prep app—just pick your food preferences, amount of meals, and how many people you’re cooking for, and MealPrepPro does the rest.
If you don’t like a recipe, feel free to swap it out for another dish or add additional meals to your daily plan. What’s more, if you find a tasty recipe and want to make it immediately, simply tap Cook or add the ingredients to the built-in grocery list for later.
Download: MealPrepPro for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
5. Loss of Motivation to Exercise
Exercise can be one of the most effective ways to alleviate seasonal sadness. Yet, it’s so tough sometimes to motivate yourself to exercise. When you lack the encouragement to get moving, why not turn exercise into a game? Fitness RPG gets rid of the boredom that sometimes comes with regular exercising and adds a fun game-like element to it.
Simply put, Fitness RPG is the combination of a step counter and a role-playing game. It converts the steps you walk into energy, which you can then use to upgrade your hero characters and help them win battles. As you build your way up in the levels you’ll unlock various cool features including the shop, market, and skills for your hero.
Download: Fitness RPG for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
6. Circadian Rhythm Is Off Track
Oftentimes, the main reason that people suffer from seasonal sadness is that there is less sunlight and shorter days, a combination that can disrupt your sleep and wake cycles. As stated in a post from Harvard Health Publishing, bright light therapy directly affects circadian rhythms and is therefore a successful treatment of depression.
So, when you can’t expose yourself to real sunlight, artificial light is the next best thing. A light therapy box is a device that emits light that is similar to direct sunlight. One of the best light therapy boxes to get your hands on is a Verilux HappyLight.
The HappyLight Luxe is a good option as it features four brightness levels, a countdown timer, and adjustable colors. If you’re looking for something different, like a desk lamp or a floor lamp, don’t worry. The HappyLights devices come in various shapes, sizes, designs, and prices.
Is Seasonal Sadness Making You Feel Blue?
When the colder weather rolls in and the days start getting shorter and darker, do you feel tired, lonely, and sad? Don’t ignore these signs because you might be experiencing seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal sadness is a fairly common experience, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it.
From increasing your social interactions and regular exercise to trying out bright light therapy, there are effective steps you can take to relieve the symptoms of seasonal sadness. Remember, if you think you might be seriously depressed and nothing is helping, the best treatment is to get help from a healthcare professional as soon as possible.