Part 2 of a 3-part series
Carolina Campanella, VP of Consumer & Behavioral Insights at Delos, shares strategies for how to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Delos is a leading wellness brand which launched the Delos Wellness Certificate for Meetings & Events.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that affects approximately three million Americans annually. Symptoms can include fatigue, social withdrawal, depression and feelings of hopelessness. For many it can feel like being stuck in a rut, which isn’t ideal when traveling for business, according to Delos.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, the act of traveling is one of several solutions that can help boost mood, said Carolina Campanella, VP of Consumer & Behavioral Insights at Delos.
“Research has shown that novelty, such as visiting new locations can increase feelings of happiness,” she said. “Even the act of planning a trip can increase mood.”
In anticipation of your business trip, do some research of any attractions near your meeting and see if you can build in some sightseeing, she suggests, or for meetings with a tight schedule, consider researching a new restaurant to suggest to colleagues.
The amount of light exposure you receive during the winter months can impact mood and even contribute to SAD symptoms, Delos explains. If you have access to a lightbox, consider using it in the morning. In the absence of a light box, try to get at least 30 minutes of natural light exposure by going for a walk or doing a walking meeting.
Try to stick to a schedule, even when traveling, Campanella said. “SAD may impact sleep so make an effort to go to sleep around the same time each night and follow your typical bedtime routine,” she recommends.
She also encourages avoiding screen time before bed, ideally well in advance of going to bed is optimal.
Also, staying connected to others can help combat feelings of loneliness and social withdrawal that are associated with SAD. Build in socialization time during your trip to catch up with colleagues.
Physical activity has been shown to help increase mood and can also help difficulties sleeping if done earlier in the day, Campanella said. Exercising outside is best because it also increases your light exposure. But, if it’s too cold or icy out, then you’ve got a great opportunity to check out your hotel’s fitness amenities—whether that’s taking the Pelton for a spin, doing some in-room Pilates, joining a group fitness class, or hitting the cardio machines and weight room.