Feeling SAD? The “Winter Blues” Is Real
Have you ever noticed your mood change in the winter? Maybe you’re feeling more irritable, tired, or just feeling down? You may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
According to One Medical, SAD is a mental health issue that is part mood disturbance, part biological, and typically happens in the fall and winter months. During this period, fewer hours of sunlight can disrupt your circadian rhythm and significantly affect your mood and energy levels. This effect may be more profound for some people, resulting in seasonal affective disorder.
Signs and symptoms of SAD include:
- Feeling down or depressed;
- Difficulty falling asleep or oversleeping;
- Changes in appetite (overeating or undereating);
- Decreased energy or feeling slow;
- Loss of interest in activities you used to like;
- Feeling guilty or worthless;
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or suicide.
If you think you are experiencing SAD, you should consult a doctor. He can prescribe you Light therapy- also called phototherapy, which can be used to provide you with synthetic sunlight during the winter months that can help to improve your circadian rhythm; psychological counseling- that can result in a dramatic improvement in your mood; or medication- which can be the difference between a bit of winter blues and severe depression.
In addition to the treatment options a doctor can prescribe, here are some additional tips to help prevent the winter blues naturally:
- Get outdoors and go for a walk, even on cloudy days;
- Participate in regular exercise;
- Improve your sleep hygiene.