SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by Megan Stiefel
During the winter months, people often find themselves feeling more depressed or anxious. Some may wonder if this feeling is due to the months slipping by, less sunshine, or perhaps it’s caused by the holidays. The aforementioned can be contributing factors to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Believe it or not, as seasons change, so can our moods. During the winter months, millions of people have reported that they feel lower than normal. This condition can possibly be triggered by the following causes:
- The holidays
- Gloomy, dark weather
- Your biological clock (circadian rhythm) – decreased sunlight may disturb your body’s internal clock
- A drop in serotonin due to less sunlight
- Melatonin levels may get disrupted with less sunlight
A good healthy diet, daily activity, and light exposure are ways you can help combat SAD. Get outside even for a few minutes days or plan to take a vacation somewhere where it is sunny and warm. If you eat a healthy and well-balanced diet and exercise, not only will this boost your brain, but you will also feel better and sleep better. Being fit and feeling good about yourself can help to elevate your mood. Consider incorporating more activity around the house- such as dancing around or playing hide and seek with the kids. There are many terrific workout videos available also. Light therapy, medications, and psychotherapy are other treatment options if the above does not help.
Seasonal affective disorder aka the “winter blues” can really strike when we are at work. Large office windows can emphasize the bad weather or lack of sunlight and lead us to think about how much we’d rather be cozy at home instead of working a long day. Consider decorating the office or your workplace to make it happier or feel more “fun”. Have games at your office so when you have a break you can play a game with a coworker. And who doesn’t love a potluck? You could make it a theme like a mini-Thanksgiving dinner or Mexican food.
If the above doesn’t help you cope with your winter blues, seek assistance from a doctor.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.