We’ve had an early start to winter this year. In fact, it kinda feels like we skipped Fall altogether and headed straight for winter back in October.
The colder and darker days can be harder for some people than others and it’s usually because of something called Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D. It’s generally starts around now in the late Fall/early winter and peaks between the end of Christmas and New Years and the beginning of spring.
If you struggle with winter depression, this time of year is not always filled with joy and fun winter activities. Instead, you probably feel like hiding under the covers until spring arrives in a few months.
So what is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Everyone has the blues now and then. But SAD is a depressive state that occurs seasonally, year after year, usually in the fall and winter. If you suffer from SAD, you may feel perfectly normal during the spring and summer months, but starting around October or November, symptoms begin showing up.
Because this type of depression come and goes with the seasons, you may wonder if it is all in your head. It isn’t.
This is a real condition and can have a devastating impact on your life. Researchers still don’t know the exact cause of SAD, but there are some factors that seem to be involved, and they involve the decreased amount of sunlight that fall and winter bring.
What are the Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?
SAD will often manifest itself as feelings of sadness or depression. You may feel as though you can’t get enough sleep—struggling to get out of the bed in the morning, feeling drowsy during the day and going to bed earlier than you usually do.
Your energy and concentration may also run low, and this can affect your productivity at work and at home. Of course, not having the energy to ‘get things done,’ only leads to frustration and more feelings of depression.
You may also notice weight gain. Typically, SAD sufferers will crave foods high in carbohydrates and can gain between 9 and 30 pounds each year.
Now for the Good News.
If you think that you may be one of the millions of people who are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, you will be happy to know that you have many treatment options available.
Try experimenting with different treatments until you find one or a combination that works for you. Some natural treatments include:
You are not alone if you are beginning to feel depressed with the shortened days that we are experiencing.
Experiment with some of the natural treatment options and especially start exercising. Before you know it, the days will begin lengthening out again!
If you haven’t been taking Vitamin D throughout the winter months, I highly suggest purchasing a good quality brand and start taking it.
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To make it as simple for you as possible, I’ve created a list of my personal favourites under my “Dispensary,” so you don’t have to waste your time trying to figure out which supplements and brands are good quality. Any questions, simply email me HERE.
Until next time,
May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.