The weather is changing, cooler temps are on the way, crisp air is lingering, leaves will be assorted colors soon, bonfires will be ablaze, hoodies galore, pumpkin spice lattes, hot apple cider and mood swings (feelings of low-grade depression set in). We tend to call this the “winter blues” or SAD.
What is SAD and how can I cope with it?
SAD – otherwise known as Seasonal Affect Disorder. According to the Mayo Clinic, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons – SAD begins and ends at about the same time every year. If you’re like most people with SAD your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651.
What are the symptoms of Seasonal Affect Disorder?
◻ Experiencing low energy and moodiness
◻ Feelings of hopelessness or not caring about life
◻ Loss of interest in fun activities that you previously looked forward to
◻ Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
◻ Having difficulty with memory or concentration
◻ Significant fluctuation in weight gain or loss
◻ Sleeping more hours than typical
Solutions for SAD:
We must learn to develop good sleep habits that allow us to feel well rested and help us to maintain healthy energy levels. Feeling rested is key, along with learning to tackle your symptoms, is imperative for a happier lifestyle. You should remove the TV from your bedroom, sleep in total darkness and stay away from tech devices, one hour prior to sleep. It is easy to overwhelm yourself, so ask for help if you need it. We should be striving to maintain a good balance of mind, body, and spirit and must be in alignment to vibrate on an optimum level.
We can alleviate symptoms by eating a clean diet, cutting out sugar, drinking alcohol in moderation, quit smoking, remove unnecessary stressors and avoid gossip and family drama. Foods that contain preservatives, dyes, nitrates, too much sugar, mercury, or fillers – make us sick and symptomatic. Select food items that are organic, Non-GMO, healthy fats and carbs, no sodas or fruit juices that contain elevated levels of sugar. We recommend fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, salads, fish, kale, beans, eggs and plenty of water to stay hydrated.
People’s vitamin D levels drop significantly in fall and wintertime, causing us to feel more groggy and depressed. Reduction in sunlight can create an onset of SAD. Therefore, we recommend having your levels checked by your primary care physician, so you can adjust your vitamin D supplement, accordingly.
Your serotonin (brain chemical) levels may be unbalanced – might precipitate an onset of SAD. Speak with your healthcare professional immediately, if you experience uncontrollable thoughts or severe depression.
If we can help in any way, please make an appointment with us at Pacific Medical Care https://pacificmedicalcare.net/contact/.