Change of Season: Change of Mood
For some the arrival of fall is a time of abundance, warmth and fond childhood memories. For others, the shortening days, chilly mornings and impending long winter might bring on symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to iTriage, symptoms for SAD include depression, anxiety, fatigue, social withdrawal, overeating, oversleeping and the loss in things one might normally enjoy.
Symptoms usually build up slowly in the late autumn and winter months. This disorder might begin during teenage years or strike later in life. SAD effects more women than men and is more common in areas that experience long winter nights.
Treatment for SAD ranges from taking advantage of daylight hours outdoors to prescription antidepressant medications and talk therapy.
Tricks for beating wintertime depression include:
Light therapy – The most common treatment for SAD is light therapy. Light therapy boxes mimic natural sunlight, which helps to promote a chemical change in your brain that helps lift your mood. Sufferers of SAD usually sit in front of a special light therapy box for about 30 minutes each day. Light therapy boxes mimic natural sunlight. Light therapy is especially useful for those that live far north where sunshine is a rare and precious treat during the long winter months.
Sunshine – Although light therapy boxes work great for reversing the February funk, natural sunshine is always best. An early morning snowy walk is a great way to prepare for your day and get some natural light. Even a quick jaunt during your lunch will help center your body and get you some much needed light and fresh air.
Exercise – Exercise is a great way to sock it to SAD. Quite simply, exercise makes you feel good by raising serotonin and endorphin levels. If you are lucky enough to have ski slopes closeby, hit em. If not, find some way to get outside. Dress properly so you won’t have an excuse. If you must, hit your local yoga studio for a class or two. All that bending and stretching is sure to get your heart pumping, and your mood lifted.
Food – Instead of downing another plate of French fries or pasta try reaching for foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids like salmon, walnuts, and flax meal. Also, increase your intake of B vitamins found in beans, broccoli, and brown rice. Your heart and your mood will thank you!