SAD or seasonal affective disorder is a depression that is connected to a certain season of the year. Most people are affected in the winter months when there is less sunlight which can upset the body’s internal clock, effecting sleep, and cause the depressing feelings. Some people claim that having nothing to look forward to, or coming down from the holiday high, causes them to have feelings of depression and sadness.
People report feeling more moody, having a loss of interest in things they usually enjoy, trouble sleeping, changes in weight, feeling hopeless or worthless and increased anxiety
As we are in that time of year that is hardest for most people, I found some lifestyle and home treatments that help to overcome those depressing feelings
- Change your environment. Open the blinds and windows to allow in more sunlight and fresh air. Sit closer to bright spaces in the office or purchase a light box for your work space. Phototherapy mimics natural sunlight that affect your brain chemicals linked to your mood.
- Join a relaxation class such as yoga. Meditation and exercise help relieve stress and anxiety that increase depression symptoms. Exercise often helps people sleep better and feel more rested in the mornings. Feeling healthier will help you feel better about yourself at the same time.
- Spend more time outside. Take more walks or sit outside on your lunch break. Even cloudy days can help revive your mood and give you more energy.
There are more complicated signs of SAD such as:
Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
If you experience any of the more complicated signs it is necessary to speak to a doctor as soon as possible.
Grace was born and brought up in Bessemer, Alabama but has a great love for exploring new places. She has been married for 8 years and has 3 kids, expecting number 4 in December. Having been a student off and on for the last 10 years she is excited to say that she is finally graduating from BYU-Idaho with a degree in Marriage and Family Counseling this year. She loves to learn and share what she learns with as many people as possible. Strengthening and encouraging positive relationships with couples and families is a life goal and passion. Her biggest hobby is her family and finding new and fun ways to accomplish the above life goal in her home.