When the season’s change and the cold weather comes rolling in, it’s not uncommon to succumb to the winter blues. If you struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) continue reading for a few tips.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that has a seasonal pattern. It typically starts in fall and will end in the spring. Studies show that as the days get shorter and colder, the lack of sunshine can leave you feeling sad, affect your sleep and eating habits, and even increase your desire to isolate yourself.
SAD isn’t just winter blues though, it’s much more than that. The symptoms of SAD can be overwhelming, and cause interference with your daily functions. Seasonal affective disorder can be linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain that is linked to shorter hours of daylight and less sunlight in the winter.
Common symptoms include:
- Extreme feelings of sadness
- Depressed mood
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in sleep habits
- Loss of energy
- Increased fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Trouble making decisions
What Helps SAD?
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help curb the symptoms of SAD. Some examples include:
- Physical Activity: Maintaining your level of exercise is crucial for living a healthy and balanced life. It is especially important if you struggle with SAD. Physical activity helps to elevate your mood and energy levels providing an essential boost. In addition, it helps to regulate your sleep patterns, helping you to avoid sleeping too much during the day.
- Social Interaction: As difficult as it can be, make an effort to continue socializing. The cold weather can make it harder to leave your comfortable home, but maintaining healthy relationships can boost your mood and help you get out of a funk. Make an effort to go see your friends, family, or whoever brings you joy—as this will help you combat symptoms of SAD.
- Eat Well: It’s tempting to use food as a comfort when you feel upset, overwhelmed, or are experiencing symptoms of SAD. However, the best thing you can do for yourself is to fuel your body with nutritionally dense foods. Swap our processed food and reach for whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in essential nutrients and vitamins. 90% of serotonin is found in your gut, so it’s important to treat your gut with care! Additionally, you can incorporate supplements like CBD for extra support. Consider products like A88CBD™ Essential Oil Rollerball or Oil Tincture to give your body the boost it needs.
- Meditate: Meditation is an excellent practice to implement into your routine if you struggle with symptoms of SAD. Be mindful of the moment you are in, and focus on embracing the season you are in. You will be doing yourself a huge favor by taking the time to connect your mind, body, and soul.
- Seek Sunlight: Vitamin D can do wonders for your body and symptoms of SAD. Even if you only have a few hours of sunlight a day, get outside, and spend time in nature. Going for a brief 5-10 minute walk out in the sunlight can turn your mood around.
If you have been experiencing symptoms of SAD, try a few of our tips. Remember, if your symptoms are ongoing and lasting longer than 2 weeks, it may be time to seek medical attention. Talk to your trusted doctor if you believe you may have seasonal affective disorder.