Tackle Seasonal Depression This Winter

February 7, 2024 by Dr. Eric Ellis

As winter comes to an end and spring slowly makes its arrival, it’s still common for people to experience seasonal depression. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that usually occurs during the fall and winter months when sunlight exposure decreases. This lack of sunlight can disrupt the body’s internal clock, causing sadness, fatigue, and low energy.

Even those who live in warmer, sunnier states can experience SAD and, more dangerously, might not recognize their symptoms as depression since the weather isn’t in perfect alignment with their feelings of sadness.

Thankfully, general awareness of SAD and paying attention to your physical, mental, and emotional health can help manage symptoms.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

Seasonal depression is more than feeling “down” during the colder months. It can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and daily functioning if ignored or left untreated. Some symptoms include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low energy and persistent fatigue
  • Lack of interest in one’s usual hobbies or activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns – sleeping too much or too little
  • Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Irritability or moodiness

Can you Prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Preventing seasonal depression is not always possible, but a few different forms of self-care can help you get through the winter with an advantage:

1. Exercise
Exercise increases dopamine levels in the brain, promoting pleasure and excitement. Take a walk outside for 30 minutes, go to a class at your local gym, or do a guided workout at home. Anything you can do to stay active will improve your mood.

2. Get outside!
Even if it’s cold or overcast, being outside can boost serotonin, a “feel good” hormone in the brain. A “happy lamp” can help mimic natural light and improve mood if it’s too cold to go outside. Getting enough Vitamin D will also help energy levels and boost serotonin.

3. Eat a balanced diet
It’s tempting to reach for highly processed food when you feel down, but eating healthy is more likely to help your mood and overall well-being. It’s important to incorporate various foods into your diet that build brain power, allowing you to improve your mood. Try fruits, vegetables, and foods rich in omega-3s.

How We Can Help

Urgent care can serve as a tool to help you reach your health goals, giving you a better chance to combat seasonal depression. From flu shots to on-site lab testing, urgent care centers offer a range of preventive measures that help you stay ahead of potential health issues.

Visit Lincoln Urgent Care or Granite Bay Urgent Care in the Sacramento area for testing, diagnosing, and treatment options.

You can also book a telemedicine appointment or call either urgent care clinic for more details. We look forward to hearing from you!

Lincoln Urgent Care (916) 258-2751
Granite Bay Urgent Care (916) 570-7265


Lincoln Urgent Care and Granite Bay Urgent Care are full-service urgent care centers with onsite x-ray and laboratory testing. Our team is dedicated to providing patients with affordable and timely care for their urgent care needs.

Lincoln Urgent Care
77 Lincoln Boulevard Suite 1
Lincoln, CA 95648
Phone: (916) 258-2751
Fax: (916) 258-7172

Granite Bay Urgent Care
5290 Douglas Blvd
Suite 102
Granite Bay, CA 95746
Phone: (916) 570-7265
Fax: (916) 200-2412

As your trusted urgent care clinic, we would like to notify our patients about the Open Payments database put in place by the Medical Board of California as of January 1, 2024.

The federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act requires that detailed information about payment and other payments of value worth over ten dollars ($10) from manufacturers of drugs, medical devices, and biologics to physicians and teaching hospitals be made available to the public.

The Open Payments database is a national transparency program that collects and publishes information about financial relationships between drug and medical device companies and certain healthcare providers.

For informational purposes, please visit: openpaymentsdata.cms.gov