What are some tactics you've learned to deal with the "Winter Blues"/Seasonal Depression
SAD is a form of major depressive disorder and is best treated by psychotherapy and other clinical experts.
That being said, here are a few tips to fight winter blues.
1. SSRI anti-depressants
2. Higher doses of Vitamin D
3. Light therapy
There are specialty high lux light boxes that professionals use, but you can replace your bulbs with "full spectrum" bulbs yourself for a lesser DIY approach. Many people claim this is an area where incandescents can outperform LED.
4. Get outside.
Morning is said to be best but soak up all the sun you can. If you can learn to enjoy the outdoors in winter, it can definitely improve your mood.
5. Change your sleep patterns
This is controversial and may worsen depression in some. But try and get closer in sync with the day. If your job has you driving to work in the dark AND driving home in the dark; is there something you can do to adjust it. Can you start a little later so you are driving in daylight? Maybe work a different shift so you don't spend all the daylight hours inside?
Likewise, take a cue from nature and go to bed a little earlier in the evening.
A way to spend time that is also enjoyable and relaxing is a great way to while away the winter.
7. Household projects
Remember all those projects and odd jobs around the house? Start knocking a few off your list and feel the dopamine hit.
8. Get outside even more.
This bears repeating. Even if you just take a steaming Thermos of cocoa, an electric blanket, and a chair to sit on the porch. Let the sun fall on your face, and the cold fill your lungs. It can do us all some good.