It’s easy to understand Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), for many people, there is such a contrast between summer and winter that their emotion and even physical wellbeing is affected.
What Is S.A.D?
It is estimated that between 4-10% of the population have S.A.D, it was first recognized in 1984 although it has been in existence for much longer.
The general belief is that it affects more women than men. However, it is difficult to be certain regarding this as men generally do not talk about these types of issues as much as women.
S.A.D usually happens gradually, as the temperature starts to drop, the nights get shorter, and people affected by S.A.D are more likely to stay indoors. It naturally passes as winter turns into spring and then summer.
Typical signs of S.A.D include fatigue, lack of motivation, desire to sleep more, weight gain, a craving for carbohydrates, and even a loss of libido.
In addition, many sufferers will become more irritable and less likely to socialize.
It should be noted that most people suffer from S.A.D, but that for most people the symptoms are mild enough to make very little difference to daily life.
The Cause OF S.A.D
It’s fair to say the primary issue is a lack of sunlight, the shorter the days get the greater the incidence of S.A.D.
However, there are other factors that contribute to the onset of S.A.D, including your genetics, nutritional levels, and hormone imbalances.
Dealing With S.A.D
The first thing to recognize is that many of the symptoms of S.A.D can be overcome with good nutrition.
This won’t just help you to feel more positive through the winter, it will also improve your health, specifically your nervous system, and reduce your risk of age-related illnesses.
Your best bet is to speak to our Naturopath specialists, they can help to identify dietary and other problem areas, ensuring you are well-prepared for any winter.
In the meantime, you should use the following tips to keep S.A.D away:
- Take Omega 3 – These have a direct effect on your mood, not consuming enough will worsen any imbalance in your mood.
- Vitamin B – There are several B vitamins, you should consider supplementing your diet with all of them. They are directly linked with your mood and your energy levels. Unfortunately, stress, drinking tea and coffee, and even soft drinks, can reduce the level of B vitamins available in your body, topping them up is a must.
- Vitamin D – This is one of the vitamins that you get from exposure to the sun, and it’s an important one for many bodily functions. Exposure to the sun decreases in the winter, making this one vitamin that needs to be supplemented.
You should focus on looking for the positive in everything. If you look, there will always be something to be grateful for. Focus on this to increase your positivity and reduce the effects of S.A.D.
S.A.D may be a result of shorter days and longer nights but you don’t have to live in darkness! Get out into the sunlight, or simply the outside world, as much as you can.
When you’re not outside, spend as much time as you can near windows and doors. It will improve your energy levels and your natural sleep cycle.
Finally, get physical! Exercising releases endorphins which will make you feel happier. It also reduces stress and boosts your energy levels.
What better reason could you have to start that exercise routine today?