Winter term has begun which means the days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and the amount of geese is declining. If you get the “winter blues” this season, you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This condition is a kind of depression appearing only at certain times of the year. For most people, SAD begins in the fall when the days get shorter and lasts through the winter. Some common symptoms of SAD are feeling sleepy all the time, sad, low energy, hopeless, stressed, etc. It is common for Canadians to encounter SAD due to having a northern climate. It is believed that winter SAD may be caused by the lack of sunlight which interferes with the body’s biological clock that regulates sleep, hormones and mood.
Here are 3 ways to overcome your (SAD)ness
Light therapy involves sitting near a special light which mimics outdoor light. The strong artificial light generates a chemical change in the brain which improves your mood and helps relieve SAD symptoms. Make sure to consult your doctor before giving light therapy a try.
Lower levels of vitamin D due to less sunlight during the winter season could be related to SAD symptoms. Speak to a health professional before considering vitamin D3 supplements and get outdoors as much as possible when the sun is glowing.
Self-care is a natural approach to simply feeling better. A healthy diet, managing stress, regular exercise, good sleep habits, interacting with others are all helpful ways to reduce SAD symptoms. These are strategies to great for having strong mental health.
Make sure you don’t get caught up in the winter blues this winter term. Keep your mental health strong and conquer your seasonal depression using light therapy, going outside as much as possible, and self-care. If you continue to struggle with your SAD symptoms, feel free to either drop by or book an appointment at Campus Wellness.