Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression. With winter it’s not uncommon to feel a bit down. However, winter blues should be taken seriously if it affects your daily activities, or you feel depressed beyond a few days. Mood changes that are causing problems at home or work, feeling unusually tired, having depressive thoughts, or thoughts of low self-worth are serious symptoms that should be treated. If this happens every winter, SAD may be affecting you.
Changing weather can affect wellness, and winter is an extreme. Less daylight, cold temperature, dietary changes, reduction in social and outdoor activities, are just a few factors that our body perceives as not ideal. The changes to our body as the season changes from good weather to winter can affect mental wellness. Maintaining that good feeling may require adjustments to your daily routine.
Dress warm, don’t make your body work at staying comfortable. Replace your fair-weather pursuits with fun indoor activities – bonus if it’s also social! Look out a window and bathe in the warmth of natural light during lunch, or invest in a light therapy box. Eat a rainbow variety of vegetables and fruit. Your PharmaChoice pharmacist can suggest supplements to replace what we typically lack during the winter. The key is to continue positive nutrition and activity year-round.
Review the things you do in spring and summer. Are you eating differently? What changes have you made with your social and activity level? Compare this with what you are doing in winter. Even simple changes, warm soup, and cozy attire can comfort and make heavy moments lighter.
Winter blues may persist even with proper nutrition and fitness. Treating depression is important, but often not sought. Your wellness is a priority. Your pharmacist can help start the process of seeking help and be a support.
Seasonal affective disorder is a serious condition and requires treatment if depression continues for days or if it affects your daily routine. There is treatment available. Don’t delay, seek medical advice if you suspect you have SAD.