Fight S.A.D. – “Seasonal Affective Depression”

Each year millions of Americans are affected by S.A.D., Seasonal Affective Depression.  (Sometimes called “Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Autumn Disorder) And although some say it can happen at any time during the year, this syndrome is most often associated with the Fall and Winter Months.

It happens every year, beginning and ending at about the same times. Sometimes S.A.D. will affect you in the Spring and Summer, but most often it will arrive in the fall and winter months.  And the biggest period we feel this is often at the change of Daylight Savings on the First Sunday in November when we set our clocks back.  

All of a sudden when we adjust our clocks, it gets darker in the afternoon.

As summer ends, and the days get shorter and darker, our bio-clocks must adjust.  And, as we make our adjustments, we sometimes get, “A case of the Blahs.”  Many times it is also described as, “Having the Blues,” or “Being down in the Dumps.”

This is a time when we need to take some action to counter the affects of S.A.D.  Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), medications and psychotherapy.

Prepare for the arrival of “S.A.D.”
Yes, everyone needs to prepare for and accept S.A.D.  I am not a doctor, but I do have some simple suggestions. 

  • Begin each day with a little light exercising.  Get the Blood circulating and the heart beating. It doesn’t have to be much.  Maybe just some stretching, some twisting and bending, while you sit in the edge of your bed. 
  • If you are into Yoga or even some of those old Jack LaLanne exercises, you will find these help too!  There is also Silver Sneakers, Zumba, Tai Chi, and other light exercising programs that are a great help.
  • After you get up and exercise, take your shower and get dressed. And what about taking a cold or cool shower.  Your body will react differently and often your mind and attitude will also be different.   Actress Terri Hatcher loves her cold showers and says it gives her a great focus on the day ahead.  Even if you are retired or don’t have to leave the house, you should still get up, do something physical, and get dressed!  Don’t sit around in your pajamas or robe.
  • Turn on more lights, and open the curtains, even during the day!  This is called light therapy.  And, it will do wonders for your attitude and morale.  Try to sit near a window and absorb some of the sunlight which helps your body produce Vitamin D.  Studies have also shown that letting the Sunlight in, also kills germs!  It’s Healthy!
  • And here is a nice social and mental trick that I like.  Make it a point to call a friend each morning.   Maybe even a different friend or old acquaintance each day.  Then go about your daily work or chores.   You will see a difference when you take a positive approach.  And the calls are good for your friends too!

There are lots of articles and teaching on how to counter S.A.D. and the many forms it takes.   I have give you just a few.  But there are many more ideas and treatments out there.

The important thing is for you and others to take a positive stance on handling S.A.D.

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