Winter has plenty of positive associations holiday-wise: there’s Thanksgiving turkey to look forward to, Christmas celebrations with family, and New Year’s Eve. But what after the festive season ends?
Harsh weather combined with late sunrises and early sunsets can result in seasonal affective disorder, aptly abbreviated as SAD. The condition is also known as the winter blues, winter depression, or seasonal funk.
Most individuals with SAD will feel their symptoms begin in autumn and continue throughout the winter months. Although rare, SAD can strike in the brightermonths of spring and summer too.
Symptoms of the winter blues include depression, lack of energy, insomnia, lethargy, loss of interest in pursuing hobbies or activities, and unusual eating patterns (i.e. loss of appetite or increased appetite).
Although the exact causes of SAD have yet to be fully understood, it is believed that shorter days and longer nights typical of the winter months disrupt the circadian rhythm (your internal clock that regulates how and when you sleep).
Medical treatments for SAD range from phototherapy (light therapy) to certain antidepressants that should be taken right before and during the months that SAD is likely to crop up. (Source)
If you’re not interested in taking heavy medication but you’re tired of feeling down, here are five tips to beat the winter blues that are all natural, holistic ways to get back to feeling like your regular self again!
Phototherapy, also known as the use of light boxes, is the use of a device (usually box-shaped) that essentially mimics the quality of natural outdoor light. Light boxes are highly recommended by researchers for alleviating the symptoms of SAD.
As gloomy winter days and a general lack of sunlight are two of the factors that contribute towards the winter blues, light boxes are a popular approach towards treating the condition that may be used on its own or alongside other treatments, such as counseling or…
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