Have You Got Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seems like everyone else is over the moon happy about pumpkin everything and every other sign that the fall season is upon us and you are not. 

Does this sound like you?

  1. I feel like sleeping all the time, or I’m having trouble getting a good night’s sleep
  2. I’m tired all the time, it makes it hard for me to carry out daily tasks
  3. My appetite has changed, particularly more cravings for sugary and starchy foods
  4. I’m gaining weight
  5. I feel sad, guilty and down on myself
  6. I feel hopeless
  7. I’m irritable
  8. I’m avoiding people or activities I used to enjoy
  9. I feel tense and stressed
  10. I’ve lost interest in sex and other physical contact

Source: BC Mental Health

You probably have SAD. -- If you have it going into fall/winter you are actually one of the many. It does occasionally happen to people as we approach spring/summer and there are even a few people who have it briefly at the change of every season. 

As with any form of depression, there are many different causes and contributing factors for it. Consulting your doctor is best for an accurate diagnosis. However what follows may help to boost your mood and manage your depression.

Get out in the LIGHT

Short walks on a sunny day and sitting near a window can do amazing things. In a pinch pictures of a sunny day and artificial lighting with a "day light" setting can help too.

Exercise

Very rarely is this ever a bad thing. Regular exercise can boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals. It can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Aim for 30-60 minutes a day.

Eat Right

Once again this is always a good thing. Avoid super sugary foods. Try oatmeal, whole grain bread, brown rice, and bananas to answer those cravings while boosting your feel-good serotonin levels without the subsequent sugar crash. Omega-3 fats—such as oily fish, walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseeds, are also a big help.

REACH OUT 

Participate in social activities, even if you don’t feel like it. This is a tough one but being around other people will boost your mood. Volunteer at a shelter, that way you'll know going in that you will at least be doing someone some good. It may surprise you how much good you'll be doing for yourself too.

Destress

Meditation to yoga or simple focused breathing can help you cope with nearly everything better. 



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