November 20

Darker Days Bring Seasonal Depression

If you can feel the shorter days and colder changes in weather bringing your mood down, then you are probably feeling the effects of seasonal depression.


Why Does Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Occur?

Experts aren’t certain, but some believe that seasonal changes disrupt the circadian rhythm: the 24-hour clock that regulates how we function during sleeping and waking hours, causing us to feel energized and alert sometimes and drowsy at other times. Another theory is that changing seasons disrupts our serotonin levels.

Regardless of why SAD exists, it seems to affect everyone a little bit every year in one or another. Research shows that women and young people tend to suffer the most from Seasonal Depression.


How Can You Battle SAD?

1. Aromatherapy
Bring the smell of spring and warmer weather back into your life with essential oils. They can influence the area of the brain that’s responsible for controlling moods and the body’s internal clock that influences sleep and appetite.

You can add a few drops to your bath at night to help you relax or put some bundles of lavender next your bed when you go to sleep.

2. Exercise
Movement and staying active has always been a key strategy to fight depression and anxiety. Staying active in the winter is even more important because you are probably stuck inside and may have a tendency to become more lazy.
There are many options for staying active inside, from yoga at home to going to a local gym. You do not have to break your budget to stay fit. Find what works for you and keep moving.

3. Let the sunshine in
If you have seasonal depression, you’ll want to get outside as much as can during the day. Bundle up and take a short stroll outside around noon, when the sun is at its brightest. Also, while indoor, keep your blinds open to let as much natural light in as possible.

4. Stick to a schedule
Keeping to a schedule can help you sleep at night and feel more rejuvenated during the day. You do not have to be strict with yourself, but keep your sleep schedule as consistent as you can.

5. Keep a journal
Writing down your thoughts is a proven mood booster and stress reducer. Plan for 15-20 minutes of reflection time each night to write about your day.

Working with your doctor on diet and exercise, utilizing light therapy and optimizing vitamin D levels can help elevate your mood through the winter. Contact us to schedule an appointment, and we’ll develop a personalized program to help you feel the best you can.


Tags

Mood Swings, SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder


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