Could SAD Be Hurting Your Finances?

Few people truly love the winter, but if you’re like 10 million Americans who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, you may absolutely despise this chilly time of year.

Seasonal Affective Disorder — aptly named SAD for short — is a major depressive disorder that usually hits during the coldest months of the year. It leaves you feeling blue, unmotivated, and uninterested in things you usually enjoy. And, if you keep scrolling, it turns out it can also wreak havoc with your finances.

Retail Therapy Can Bust Your Budget

Do you reach for the credit card when you’re feeling blue? It may be something you share in common with other SAD sufferers. A study by Money and Mental Health Policy Institute shows that 93 percent of people who suffer mental health issues overspend while feeling their worst.

Filling your cart with comfort buys can give a momentary boost to your mental health, but it may cause long-term problems for your finances. You’re likely spending money on things you don’t need, and there’s a chance you’re maxing out your credit card.

This is a problem if you face an unexpected emergency after you’ve tied up your limit. If you need to take on an emergency repair or bill, you may research an installment loan to get cash when you are in a bind.While an installment loan is a convenient way to handle a surprise expense, ideally, you wouldn’t be in this position to begin with.

How to Manage Your Seasonal Depression

Impulse shopping on things you don’t need is no way to beat the winter blues — in fact, they’ll only make them worse if you end up overspending and needing an installment loan for unexpected emergencies. So, the next time you feel like SAD is getting the better of you, try these options instead.

Speak to a Professional

Reach out to a health professional if you believe you suffer from SAD or any other mental wellness issue.

Eat Better

Eating a well-balanced diet gives your brain the fuel it needs to regulate your emotions, improve memory, and think critically.

Focus on eating a varied diet that contains fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins. For an extra punch, introduce fish, fortified cereals, and dairy to your meals. These foods are high in Vitamin D, which studies show can help beat depression.

Improve Sleep Hygiene

A good night’s rest can help you greet the day in a better frame of mind. Consistent, quality sleep can improve your immune system, boost your mental well-being, and even prevent heart disease.

If you stay up late or toss and turn all night long, try changing your sleep hygiene. Stop watching TV or scrolling through your phone an hour before bed and stick to a regular sleep schedule.

Increase Socialising

People typically socialize less often during the winter, but this can be harder than ever as people social distance this year. While you may not be able to host friends or meet loved ones at their homes, you can still stay in touch. Organize a regular phone calland meet up outdoors for winter activities. Staying active despite the weather is another way to boost your mood.

Beat the Winter Blues

Living with SAD is a challenge, but there are ways to deal with it without overspending. Ignore the temptation to splurge on something that will only temporarily lift your spirits. Remember these tips to treat the real cause of your winter blues instead.