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Seasonal Affective Disorder

I have started this post 3 different times.  And then deleted them.  I’m having a hard time feeling inspired lately.  Its possible it’s because it’s getting darker and colder and that generally comes with a type of laziness. 

SAD.  Seasonal Affective Disorder.  What is it?  It’s a depression that comes with season changes, otherwise known as the “winter blues.”  The days are darker and it’s colder outside.  It’s more work to go outside.  If it’s not snowy where you are, it’s usually rainy and cloudy.

Have you ever felt changes in yourself when winter is on its way (SAD is also possible during the summer months but for the purpose of this blog I will be writing about winter SAD)?  Some of they symptoms include:

  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Moodiness
  • Depression
  • Feeling sluggish and low energy
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed

SAD can affect anyone and everyone, no matter if you’ve struggled with mental illness before or not.  There are definitely a few things you can do through the fall and winter to help yourself out!

Light Therapy

I love my Light Therapy Box.  You can get them at a few different places but I’m a sucker for Amazon so I ordered mine from there.  I use it for a half hour every morning while I have my tea and eat my breakfast.  When purchasing a light box they recommend one with at least 10,000 LUX in order for it to be effective.

Medications

I know a lot of people who are apprehensive about medications.  There is so much stigma around them.  Would we shame people who are on medications for MS or high blood pressure?  Hard no.  So why should we feel ashamed to be on a medication?  If it helps during these months, then it’s worth it!

Lifestyle

There’s many small changes you can make in your every day life that help.  Make sure you have lots of lighting in your home.  Eating healthy and exercising daily can make a huge difference.  Try to get outside as much as you can.  I know, it can be hard.  Especially when you’re feeling sluggish.  But man, does it ever help.  I’m also a sucker for yoga and meditation.  Get out to a yoga class or even do it at home like I do most of the time.  Take a bath and meditate (There’s an app called Headspace that will guide you through meditation).

 

These are the things that I use through the winter in order to help the winter blues.  What do you do?