As the days grow shorter and the nights longer, many people experience a shift in their mood and energy levels. This phenomenon is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that occurs seasonally, typically during the fall and winter months when daylight becomes scarce.
The end of Daylight Saving Time can worsen the symptoms of SAD, making it crucial to implement strategies to manage this condition effectively. We’ll explore SAD's symptoms and provide actionable tips to help you cope with the challenges it brings after Daylight Saving Time ends.
Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a subtype of major depressive disorder characterized by recurrent depressive episodes during specific seasons, usually autumn and winter. While the exact cause of SAD is not fully understood, it is believed to be related to changes in sunlight exposure, which can disrupt the body's internal clock and trigger imbalances in neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin.
Common Symptoms of SAD
Symptoms like those found here often start mild and become more severe as the season progresses.
- Having problems with sleeping almost every night
- Feeling listless, sad, or down almost every day
- Having thoughts of not wanting to live
- Having low energy and feeling sluggish
- Losing Interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Feeling hopeless, worthy, or guilty
- Becoming more socially isolated, withdrawing from friends and family
- Overeating and weight gain
Managing SAD After Daylight Saving Time Ends
Here are some of the things you can do by yourself and with the help of others.
Consume a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid excessive consumption of high-sugar, high-carb comfort foods.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness and meditation techniques can help you manage stress, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being.
Physical activity, such as a quick run, a brief walk, or yoga, can boost mood and energy levels. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. After your physical activity, treat those sore spots with CBD topicals to recuperate better and faster.
Light Therapy involves exposure to a bright light that simulates natural sunlight. Consult a mental health professional if this is right for you. You can also learn more about Light Therapy from The Center for Environmental Therapeutics
Look for Social Support
Stay connected with friends and loved ones. Share your feelings and let them know what you're going through. Social support is vital in managing SAD.
Therapy and Counseling
Consider speaking with a mental health professional, such as a therapist or psychiatrist, who can provide specialized treatments for SAD, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy or medication.
By taking proactive measures, you can enjoy the beauty of every season, even when the sun is in short supply.