We have officially transitioned to the Holiday Season, which runs from November through early January and is chock-full of family gatherings, new recipes, games, and the like. There are a few other things that come with the changing seasons that are especially noteworthy.
Is that a chill in the air??? Indeed, it is.
We’ve gone from 90+ degree temps to the 70s, 60s, and as I sit here typing this, it is currently 41 degrees at 10:30 am. Then there’s this phenomenon called Day Light Savings Time, where the government RIPS an hour from my day. It looks like it’s midnight when it’s just 5:00 pm (yes, I know they give it back in spring, but stay focused). Then there’s this sneaky little rascal that rears its ugly head in more than 5% of the U.S. population...Seasonal Depression.
Seasonal Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a very real thing. It is a form of depression and a mood disorder that is related to the changing of the seasons and the shortening of daylight hours. According to the Mayo Clinic, reduced levels of sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of fatigue, lethargy, and hopelessness. Most people experience SAD in the fall and continue into the winter months. An imbalance of serotonin, a brain chemical that affects your mood, is also noted as a possible cause.
So Nisha, how do I know if I am suffering from seasonal depression?
Think back over the last two years…Have you felt super sad (depressed) or noticed significant mood swings during the fall/winter months of those years? Did you feel that way during other times of the year? These are questions that can help you determine if you are affected by seasonal depression. Here are some other symptoms associated with SAD: excessive sleepiness or insomnia, appetite changes, irritability, or social isolation.
If you are dealing with SAD, here are some simple tips to help enhance your mood.
Don’t brush off that feeling as just the “winter blues,” but take preemptive steps to keep your mood and motivation steady year-round. You are not the only one, and you are not alone. Sending love and light to you as you read these words.