The Winter Blues

We have officially entered what for some are the hard months for some “The Dark Ages” the time of year when the sun disappears and the pale complexion of your friends reminds you that you better take your probiotics and your vitamins or you’ll end up with a cold to go with that pasty look.

I dread winter each winter because I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons and begins and end at about the same time every year. Most people with SAD, starts in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.

In most cases SAD starts during the last part of fall, and goes until spring, it becomes very difficult for me. I try to stock up on food, and finish my holiday shopping in September, because I don’t even want to leave my house.

Here are some symptoms of SAD

Oversleeping

Appetite changes, especially cravings for foods high in carbohydrates

Weight gain

Tiredness or low energy

It’s normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can not get motivated to be activities you normally enjoy you probably need to see a Doctor.

Some causes of SAD

The specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown. Some factors that make come in play include:

Your biological clock (circadian rhythm). The reduced level on sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and leads to feelings of depression.

Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might play a role in SAD. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin and trigger this depression.

Melatonin levels. The change in the season can disrupt the body’s levels of melatonin, which plays a role in-sleep patterns and mood.

Risk factors

Seasonal Affective Disorder is diagnosed more often in women that in men and occurs more in younger adults than older adults.

Factors that increase your risk of SAD include:

Family History. People with SAD. May be more likely to have blood relatives with SAD or another form of depression.

Having major depression or bipolar disorder. Symptoms of depression may worsen seasonally if you have neofascist these conditions.

Living far from the equator. SAD appears to be more common among people who live far north or south of the equator. This may be due to decreased sunlight during the winter and longer days during the summer months.

Complications

The signs and symptoms of SAD seriously. As with other types of depression, SAD can get worse and lead to problems if not treated. These include:

Social withdrawal

School or work problems

Substance abuse

Mental heath disorders such as anxiety or eating disorders

Suicidal thoughts or behavior.

Here are some tips to help with SAD:

Along with treatment of your doctor.

Watch the sugar

I think our body gets the cue just before Thanksgiving that it will be hibernating for a few months, so it needs to ingest everything edible in sight. I’m convinced that the snow somehow communicates to the human brain the need to consume every kind of chocolate available in the house.

Depressives and addicts need t be a especially careful with sweets because theaddiction to sugar and white flour products is very real, and physiological, affecting the same biochemical systems in your body as drugs like heroin. Your relationship to sweet things is operating on a cellular level. It is more powerful than you have realized. What you eat can a huge effect on how you feel.

Stock up on Omega-3’s

During at winter I make sure I take these because it is confirmed to have positive effects. It is a natural anti – inflammatory molecule on emotional heath. One 500mg soft-gel casual can elevate and stabilize mood.

Give back

It is said “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others. The sense of purpose- committing oneself to a noble mission are acts the well-being on others are strong antidotes to depression.

Get some exercise

It’s difficult to go to the gym, because of the virus has closed down places of business. So instead go for a walk or run, exercise to a online exercise video. Getting your heart rate up. It is very good advice to spend 15 minutes or more outside everyday. You might as well spending that time exercising.

Use a light lamp

Bright-light therapy- involving sitting in front of a fluorescent light box that delivers an intensity of 1,000 iluminance can be as effective as an antidepressant medication for mild and moderate depression and can yield substantial relief for SAD.

Wear bright colors

Personally, I tend to wear black everyday in the winter. It’s supposed to make you look thinner. But the result is that I appear as if I’m going to a funeral every afternoon between the months of November to March. It isn’t good. Not for a person that’s hardwired to live in Stress and worry, the works very hard to stay happy and in control of my life. So I have to make a conscience effort to wear bright green, purple, blue, red and orange.

There is no research supporting this theory, but I am convicted there is a link between feeling optimistic and wearing bright colors. There’s a line with “faking it til you make it,” desperate attempts t trick your brain into thinking it’s sunny and beautiful outside-time to celebrate spring!- even though it’s a blizzard with sleet causing traffic jams,

Force yourself outside

I realize that the last thing you want to do is go outside when it’s 20 degrees outside and the roads are slushy is to head outside for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s much more fun to cuddle up with a book and chocolate chip cookies and enjoy being in your warm pajamas.

Hang out with friends

This seems like a obvious depression buster. Of course you get together when your mood starts to go south for the winter dreaming of when it’s going to be warm again. But that’s when we tend to hibernate for the winter. But, we need to be validated and encouraged and inspired by our friends. And with technology today, people don’t even have to put their slippers on to get support from anyone.

Head south

This solution isn’t free, I try to schedule my vacations during Christmas break or the last of January. It breaks up winter so I have something to look forward to in those depressing months.

Stay busy with a project like decluttering your house or going through clothes that no longer fit, find some place that takes clothing many people are looking for clothing during the winter. A friend of mine once painted every room in her house, during the winter months. I distracted her from her winter blue. Anything you can do during those dreary days to keep yourself busy, not thinking about your situation or moods.

Challenge yourself

I have found I can often be lifted up by choosing an activity that is formidable enough to keep my Attention, but easy enough to do when my brain is muddled. I’ve joined weight watchers once. You can also learn to scrapbook, or paint on canvas. Stretch yourself by doing small things that can keep yourself off the season.

Light a candle

Smelling the scents of a candle and watching the flickering flame some how just puts me at peace. During these months try to spoil yourself. Love yourself more. Enjoy spending your alone time on things only you enjoy.

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