Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can cause serious problems for remote workers. However, there are safe and healthy ways to cope with SAD symptoms. With a clear understanding and its potential impact, remote workers can manage seasonal affective disorder. Plus, they can find the best ways to feel and perform their best at work and outside of it.
Now, let’s answer some of the biggest questions surrounding SAD and how to manage it.
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
SAD is a form of depression that begins and ends around the same times each year. The disorder often occurs in winter and resolves in summer. But, it can affect individuals during any season.
The symptoms of SAD vary depending on the individual. Common SAD symptoms include:
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Appetite changes
- Suicidal thoughts
SAD symptoms can crop up without notice. And they are unlikely to subside on their own.
If you experience SAD symptoms, consult with a doctor. From here, you can work with your doctor to determine the best course of action. This is one way remote workers can manage seasonal affective disorder.
Is Seasonal Affective Disorder Common Among Remote Workers?
Remote employees are prone to work-from-home fatigue and similar problems. These workers may find themselves alone for extended periods of time, particularly in winter.
Winter brings cold temperatures and limited sunlight. Remote workers who spend long periods of time indoors may have reduced exposure to sunlight. This can affect an individual’s internal clock and the production of serotonin and melatonin. These are the body’s “feel-good” hormones. The result: remote workers may feel more sluggish in winter. They may struggle to stay focused, feel great, and work at peak levels.
Is Seasonal Affective Disorder for Remote Workers Preventable?
SAD cannot be prevented, but it can be managed. Some of the best ways remote workers can manage SAD symptoms include:
- Use Light Therapy: Set up a phototherapy box in a workspace. This exposes remote workers to artificial light that can help them keep their circadian rhythm on track.
- Engage in Social Activities: Reach out to work colleagues, family members, and friends. Connect with these individuals virtually or in person. Then, you can enjoy fun activities together.
- Establish a Schedule: Make a work schedule and stick to it. In addition, ensure you have plenty of time to wind down at the end of the work day. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
Consult with a doctor to receive a medical evaluation regarding any SAD symptoms. Your doctor can then offer a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms now and in the future.
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