Does the onset of fall have you feeling a little less motivated and a little more depressed? VALLEY explains one reason that may be.
What is SAD?
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a disorder that causes people to feel depressed throughout the fall and winter months. It is often characterized by sleeping issues, low motivation, depression and difficulty concentrating. This is often a result of the reduced amount of sunlight in the winter, which can throw off your body’s circadian rhythm and serotonin levels. Serotonin is a feel-good, mood-stabilizing hormone. When its levels are reduced, it can lead to depression.
There are a few ways to keep SAD symptoms at bay.
- Purchasing a lightbox to conduct your own version of light therapy with. The recommendation for helping with is to get a 10,000-lux light and sit in front of it for 20-30 minutes a day. Be careful to not stare directly into the light because it could cause eye damage. As always, do your research to find what works for you!
- Taking advantage of natural daylight as much as possible! Nothing beats the real deal.
- Consuming foods rich in Vitamin D can also aid in making you feel better throughout the darker, chillier months.
- Exercising and staying active/social during the colder months will help keep you from feeling down.
- Try to meditate on things going on around you and practice gratitude. A little can go long way when it comes to giving thanks for your surroundings, even if that’s just keeping tabs on what you’re grateful for.
VALLEY is not a medical publication. If your symptoms are severely affecting your life and functioning, you should see a trained professional for help.