Does the cold weather often leave you feeling a little blue?
You’re not alone!
Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) affects millions of people each year, resulting in feelings of lethargy, sadness, and difficulty concentrating on basic tasks.
While it can feel overwhelming and helpless at times, there are ways that you can manage it better and improve your quality of life throughout the colder months.
What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?
There’s a few reasons why SAD becomes common in winter, and most of it boils down to less sunlight and shorter days. When there’s less sunshine, your body automatically creates more melatonin.
Melatonin is a sleep-related hormone, meaning it can completely throw your body off balance, making you feel tired, lethargic, and sleepy during the day. When you find it hard to get out of bed, stay motivated, or feel as if you're losing interest in things that you used to love - it could be because your body is creating an excess of melatonin.
What Are The Signs Of Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The symptoms are different for everyone, but here are the most common signs of SAD.
- Feeling down almost every day for the better part of the day
- Lack of interest in activities you used to love
- Very-low energy levels
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Easily agitated and sluggish
- Having difficulty concentrating on even the simplest tasks
- Feelings of helplessness and guilt
How To Ease Seasonal Depression
Talk With Your Doctor
If you’re experiencing changes in your mood, the first thing you should do is talk to a licensed professional. Your doctor might be able to recommend a therapist or even suggest medication that can help with your symptoms.
Along with speaking to a professional, implementing aromatherapy might help manage your symptoms of seasonal affectiveness disorder. Essential oils can influence the area of the brain that controls moods, as well as your body’s internal clock.
Essential oils such as lavender can help you relax at night, helping get your sleep schedule back on track.
Get Your Heart Pumping
Exercise is a great way to get you moving, get the blood flowing, and help alleviate your SAD at the same time. Getting fresh air is the most preferable, but if that’s not an option, gym equipment inside near a window can also work wonders.
Whilst it might be harder to motivate yourself in the colder months, sticking to an exercise routine in winter has many benefits, including increased motivation and energy.
Bask In The Sunshine
Enjoy whatever sunshine you can in the middle of winter.
Try and aim for at least one walk outside per day, especially when the sun is out and at its brightest.
If that’s not possible, make sure you open your windows and try and get whatever natural light you can, whenever it is available.