First I am happy to have come across a community of people who have come here to share their personal experiences with SAD.
I don't think people with SAD always realize the strength they pocess because of how crippling SAD can feel. It is very common to feel alone in the struggle.
Hopefully my strategies can help others, they are also common to other responses here.
A) Connect with yourself: this may include your body and mind. Take up meditation, yoga and exercise. What happens when you are placed into these situations? How do you feel? What do you feel needs work? What needs improvement? Try not to lash out to your negative thoughts and emotions. Watch them pass and go, transform and shift. You will realize they are temporary. Do not grab on to positive or negative emotions or thoughts. Just observe them. What can you learn about what happened? What happens when you let yourself be consumed by a thought/feeling? What happens when attach yourself to positive feelings? You will learn everything is temporary. Attachment and desires cause suffering and are illusions. What you may learn is if you stay still you will realize all you have is right now. You have a choice. I can't explain how much working out has improved my mood and energy. I HIGHLY recommend doing something physical.
B) Create Steps: What can you do to make your life better? What needs improvement? What are some small things you can do right now? Research what SAD is and read/listen to other people success stories or struggles. Learn to be compassionate with yourself. Love yourself. Be patient. Be your own best friend. Do things by yourself that you have fun experiencing. Hug yourself, kiss yourself. Masterbate lol what ever it takes to show self love. You come first. No pun intended. Write in a journal and let everything out. Write to record your process, write to express yourself, write to learn and create goals.. To keep track of things. Read inspirational stories of people who go through other types struggles yet get back up again or keep trying. Let these people motivate you to become a better person. Don't make unrealistic expectations. Good things take time, so be easy on yourself. Be your own cheerleader. It is okay to fail and fall. Just get back up and keep going. Learn from EVERYTHING you do.write motivational quotes on a sticky pad and put them on places where you can go to and remind you of what is important to you journey. Have fun doing the exposure of your great fear by signing up to something you enjoy!
C) Rid Yourself of Negativity: be that thoughts, people, goals, addictions, places, judgement and shame. Be honest with yourself. Write down qualities you want to work on having or striving for. Are they realistic to you? What can you do right now? What jave others done to strive for the same qualities? How can you expose yourself to situations so that you have the opportunity to help them grow and mature? Where do you think is sucking the soul out of you? That you have come to just settle with even though it makes you unhappy? Maybe you can't do anything now to change everything but you can make steps that will allow you to in the future. Surround yourself with positive music, books, heros, inspirational quotes, fun/playful activities, love, travel, expose yourself to your fears, look for positive and healthy relationships. Try to become financially independent, respect yourself. Learn how to stop reacting to negative experiences or people. People who are negative are in great pain. They need help. Wish them the best but do not carry the load if you do not want to. Their actions and words say more about themselves than you. Stay focused on your journey. Watch comedy. Eat your favourite food. Spread love to aomeone in need or randomly.
D) Give Back: help others, listen and give advice. Spread your awareness. Give a helping hand, a hug, a kind word. Appreciate what you got and find beauty. Find beauty in the loss or absence. Find beauty in giving back and loving others. Be kind even when others are not. Make someone laugh, compliment someone, try to smile and give warmth and understanding. Forgive and let go.
Be yourself, be yourself even if you are scared, anxious or sad. Be vulnerable and uncomfortable. Don't feel shame or apologiz for being human! You might actually help others feel less alone in their own struggles this way, you might actually create a positive change... You will attract people who accept you for you. Accept imperfection. Accept others. Give to animals, the environment etc... It does not have to be just people. Embody the person you wish to meet. Appreciate others. Celebrate your successes no matter how small. Set a positive for others. Lift people up.
E) Everyones journey and succeses are different. Don't compare yourself to others. You do not know their life. It is pointless. Focus on yourself. Ask for help if you need it. Do it for you. Talk to people who love and care about you. Call your friends. Expose yourself to uncertainty. You only live once. Make the best out of it. Remember you deserve as much as anyone else. Don't let the opportunity slip by all the time. Be mindful of each moment, decision and choice. You always have a choice. Try it even if you think you won't like it. Give it a shot if you have nothing to lose. You might surprise yourself. Then keep striving to surprise yourself again and again. Don't take life so seriously. Make a fool out of yourself and laugh!