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Breaking S.A.D.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, most commonly affects sufferers in the Autumn and Winter months. As well as light therapy, CBT and medication, you can help manage SAD by making some changes to your lifestyle. But what works for one person may not work for another. We've compiled a list of some of the less obvious tools that have helped our bloggers manage their depression. Talk to us on Twitter and Facebook using #breakingsad to tell us what's worked for you.

1) Travelling
Because of travelling I can now deal with my anxiety in a much better way; I don't need to remove myself from a situation to calm down; I just have to open up to it and know, that in the end it'll always be okay. From: How exploring changed my life for the better


2) Gaming
Gaming can foster a sense of community. When fighting depression, your first instinct can be to shun friends and family, but gaming can overcome this. Gaming can be a great excuse to socialise with others and can also involve physical activity and/or learning a new skill. From: How gaming helps me overcome depression


3) Poetry
Of course, in the battle we face with our own Black Dog, what works is different for everyone. For me, poetry helps: it has been at the heart of my recovery from two major breakdowns, or ‘depressive episodes’ as psychiatrists prefer to call them. From: There is hope


5) Cycling
Cycling has played a vital part in my recovery from depression at various points over the last 10-15 years. It’s well known that physical exercise can help those who experience depression but cycling can tick a number of other boxes too. From: My slog up the hillside

6) Gardening
Each day I had to focus on nothing more than removing another square of turf, rather than worrying about the future or allowing myself be drawn into past regrets.Watching the plants grow and change with the seasons has served to remind me that just as they are impermanent, so is the dark, selfish, lonely place I dwell in when my mood is at its lowest. From: The perfect project for my self-loathing mind


7) Eating well
That first week without sugar was a revelation. Within 48 hours I came out of the brain fog that was permanently around me, and was able to have proper conversations with my friends and family. From: What nutrition did for me

eating well

8) Knitting
The reason knitting is such a therapeutic activity for me is that it allows me to create something. No matter how I am feeling at the time I start knitting, I am reminded that I am releasing content into the world and that the content I am releasing is beautiful. From: Why knitting is my therapy

9) Doodle
It seems like a silly doodle can help where sometimes words alone can not. From: Social anxiety feedback form

10) Art
I can regain some form of control by painting. This is how I’ve been able to survive. I typically start with an empty canvas and see where it leads. For me, producing art is all about transferring emotion, not about copying what I see. From: Why art is my lifeline

11) Blogging
I know that writing is good for me. The mechanical activity of putting one word in front of another keeps my thoughts away from the bad neighbourhoods of my mind; and the praise and validation I get is a splendid tonic. Blogging encourages your readers to talk back to you and it feels good to build relationships with people who take an interest in me and my family. From: What are your 3 beautiful things?


12) Music
I firmly believe that music has the power to heal and the power to lift your spirit. From: Listen to the music. It helps


14) Comedy
Even in my darkest moments, comedy can reach me when nothing else can. Comedy is the light. From: Humans with depression


15) A good friend
She knew that I didn’t care about myself, so one day she simply said to me ‘When you can’t get out of bed for yourself, do it for me’. So I did. I got out of bed, every day, and I did it for her, until I could do it for myself. From: She saved my life

good friends

16) Taking time to reflect
I try to sit down on my own on a daily basis and just ask myself how I’m feeling. It’s a really good way of being aware of what’s going on because often I can get so caught up with whatever is happening in my external world that I neglect my inner self. From: Happiness is a luxury, not a choice

17) Online communities
Talking to other people helps too - becoming part of an online community has helped me to feel less isolated and made me realise it’s OK to need support. From: When I first realised I was depressed

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Talk to us on Twitter and Facebook using #breakingsad to tell us what's worked for you.

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