When it comes to favorite seasons, winter is probably not at the top of the list. There are things to love—snow, the holidays. But there are challenges. And one of those challenges can actually lead to a serious disorder.
It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and it affects about 4-6% of the population, according to the Association Of American Family Physicians. What technically causes it? A lack of serotonin due to insufficient exposure to natural light. It is essentially a pronounced depression brought on by wintertime.
Here are a few tips on how to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder…
# 1 – Go outside. It can be achingly cold but getting outside can really help to alleviate this disorder by exposing you to natural light. You don’t have to participate in the Iditarod or anything, just take a ten-minute walk!
# 2 – Eat healthy. Like a lot of disorders, this one can cause vicious cycles to develop. You are depressed so you eat comfort foods to make you feel better, which in turn makes you more depressed, etc. Instead, use wintertime as an opportunity to explore new healthy recipes with your family!
# 3 – Be social. Depression can cause us to spend too much alone. Though you should certainly spend some time outside, winter is a great time to huddle indoors with friends and family. Activities like family move night are great for the winter months.
If you feel you suffer from SAD, don’t write it off as the blues. Acknowledge it and empower yourself to change it. Use these tips to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder as a starting point!