You’d think that at this time of year, during the holiday season, everyone would be “up” in their moods – happy, looking forward to celebrations with friends and family, etc. But we all know this is not always the case! In fact, seasonal depression is a very real phenomenon for many people, especially at year’s end and into the new year.
Have you ever heard the acronym, SAD? Well, it stands for a couple of things – it can mean the standard American diet (i.e., lots of junk food laced with chemicals), but it can also mean seasonal affective disorder. This can be impacted by the fact that for many of us, there is not as much sun in many parts of the word (with its life- and good mood-giving Vitamin D).
Here are a few risk factors associated with seasonal affective disorder: if you have blood relatives with depression, if you’re female (we get this four times more than men according to statistics), if you’re an adult between 18 and 30, and if you live in an area of the country with fewer daylight hours during winter (think New York and others).
You may feel sleepy during the daytime or have a pretty consistent sad mood. You may lose interest in your normal activities, and not feel very good about yourself. You may either sleep late or perhaps you’re not sleeping as much as usual. You may find yourself gaining weight (compensating with food?), and you may even have thoughts of harming yourself.
If that seems to describe you, then don’t despair – there are many things you can do to get out from under this burden and change your mood and general outlook on life in a more positive direction!
Here are a few tips to help:
Don’t get stuck in a depressed rut. Take action and get well – you can do this!
And, as always, I wish you a happy, holistically healthy day.