Read Time: 1 minute 40 seconds
It's that time of year again...winter.
Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, can impact and and all of us. Let's uncover what SAD is, how it can present, and what you can do to combat it.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression known as Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern. *We are not diagnosing or attempting to treat any Major Depressive Disorder with this article.*
Some symptoms of SAD include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Increase in purposeless activities
- Feeling worthless
- Change in sleep patterns or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy
This typically impacts people between the ages of 18 and 30 years old.
Why does this happen to some of us, and why does it seem to hit some people harder than others? Keep in mind that this is not just a case of "winter blues". This is something that physically and emotionally hurts thousands of people each winter. Scientists attempt to explain this by pointing out that days are shorter in the winter, meaning people are exposed to less sunlight than other times of the year. This creates a shift in our internal clocks, and throws us off.
What can we do about it? Here are a few simple ways to lessen the impact of SAD this year.
- Invest in Daylight Bulbs (or a full-spectrum bright light). Sit about 2 feet away from the light for 10-15 minutes a day. Of course, don't look directly at the light to avoid damage to your eyes.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Exercise for 30 minutes a day (Check out our Facebook Community for multiple workout plans!)
- Regularly interact with your friends and family! Call, text, FaceTime. Whatever you can do to stay connected.
*If your symptoms persist for longer than 3 weeks or you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255
Let us know if you have any tips for living mindfully through the winter months!