Do you get the blues during the cold winter months? You’re definitely not alone in feeling the effects of S.A.D. Besides being the most aptly named disorder ever, S.A.D., or Seasonal Affective Disorder, affects over 3 million Americans a year and is directly caused by the changing of the seasons. If you’re feeling moody or depressed every year when fall turns to winter, read on to find out how to conquer this very common (and easy to beat) mood disorder.
Know Your Enemy
Winter’s “symptoms” are caused by a decrease in the amount of sunlight due to a tilt in the Earth’s axis. This decrease in sunlight is directly related to the symptoms of S.A.D., which according to the Mayo Clinic, are:
- Feeling like you have no energy
- Difficulty getting along with others
- Feeling oversensitive or easily upset
- Weight gain
If these symptoms sound like depression, you’re right: S.A.D. is known to exacerbate pre-existing mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder. The further north or south of the equator you live, the more pronounced this decrease in sunlight is, and therefore, the worse your symptoms. However, even if you’re in Alaska, there’s hope!
This Little Light of Mine
There’s one amazingly simple cure for S.A.D.: light! Phototherapy boxes can give your body the light it’s no longer getting from the sun, and are surprisingly affordable Also, if you’re having trouble sleeping, melatonin is a safe and natural sleep aid that can help you re-establish normal sleep habits.
Conditions like depression and anxiety can make you feel like you’re on an island at best, and can make you feel totally worthless and unwanted at worst. The most important thing is to identify the illness that is making you feel this way, and once you do, you’ll be able to recognize the symptoms you’re experiencing and resolve them while keeping your self-worth intact!
My name is Jessica Cox, and I find peace by helping others live their very best lives, every day. If you’re interested in letting me tell my story at your convention, meeting, or faith-based gathering, please call me at 520-505-1359 or contact me on my website.