Navigating S.A.D

2 minutes Written by Jessica Hardial, MA, LCSW, PhD(c)

Photo Credit: Elijah M. Henderson via 


Photo description: Paved road that is traveling through a forest of orange and red leaves


Navigating S.A.D
While fall can be a beautiful time of the year filled with changing colors and festive activities, there can be a letdown that comes along with it. Seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as S.A.D, “…affects an estimated 10 million Americans, with women four times more likely to be diagnosed with it than men” (O’Keefe, 2019). Thankfully there are various coping mechanisms and strategies to assist those that are experiencing the symptoms of S.A.D.

Vitamin D
Oftentimes because there is less sunshine in the winter season this vitamin is lacking in our bodies. Low levels of vitamin D are frequently found in individuals that struggle with seasonal affective disorder. Speak to your doctor to see if increasing your intake of vitamin D is appropriate for you.

Outdoor Time
Spending time in nature is a wonderful way to boost your mood, move your body, and take advantage of the limited sunshine throughout the winter months. Going for a short walk, playing an outdoor sport, or even sitting outside and reading a book are just a few of the ways that you can spend time outdoors.

Talk to Someone you Trust
Talking to someone that you trust can provide you with solidarity and support. If talking to someone you trust isn’t providing what you need – or isn’t an option for you, seeking professional help is another tool you can use. Trained mental health professionals can offer you the tools that you need to make it through the winter season. 

Written by: Julia Girzadas, MSW-C

Avatar Jessica Hardial, MA, LCSW, PhD(c)

Written by Jessica Hardial, MA, LCSW, PhD(c)

Jessica Hardial, MA, LCSW, PhD(c) is a therapist in New Jersey and New York who specializes in couples, family, group and individual therapy. Jessica provides therapy in English, Spanish, Hindi and Urdu.