Mindful and Balanced 2019 everyone! This time of year could be challenging for many. I don’t know about you, but I simply tolerate the winter season because I know not embracing it will not make it go away! I notice I have less energy and it takes more effort to get out and be active, but as part of my self-care I do it. I create incentives for me to get my butt out there and hike even if it is raining, snowing or simply bitter cold. Having an active 5-year old in the house also serves as a motivator as she needs to exert her energy. Exposing her to healthy ways of doing it at her young age motivates me. And then you know what… once I am out there it really is not all that horrible.

However, I acknowledge that this may not be the simple solution for everyone. Perhaps, your energy is to the point that going out seems impossible and leaves you wondering “why is it that I feel so different in the winter?!” Perhaps it is not you and you notice a change in a loved one. Either way let me quickly give you a run-down on something which may be valuable to you.

Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is form of depression in which people experience depressive episodes during specific times of the year, even spring/summer (but this is not as common as experiencing it in the Fall/winter).

The most common seasonal pattern is for depressive episodes to begin in the fall or winter. If you’re like most people with SAD, you will notice that it may feel like there something sapping your energy and/or making you feel moody. Keep reading I offer you some tips to help with this, but first let me list the most common signs & symptoms for both Fall/Winter SAD and Spring/Summer SAD:

Fall and winter SAD:

  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness or low energy

Summer-onset SAD:

  • Poor appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping (Insomnia)
  • Weight loss
  • Agitation or anxiety

What Can Help?

  1. Try light therapy (phototherapy) you may even find them at many local libraries as they are popping up in community settings in various countries.
  2. Vitamin D. One theory is that a person develops SAD as their body does not have enough Vit D, especially when exposure to sunlight is not easily available to them.
  3. Psychotherapy may help as in SAD’s negative thought patterns can develop. Having someone help you explore them and help you shift them can make an enormous difference.
  4. Guided breathing techniques and/or tapping particular meridian (energy) centres in the body could help manage some of the symptoms involved with SADs.
  5. Psychotropic medications may be needed if the other options are not creating a desired effect. The reason this may help is supported by another theory which is that the inability for the body to use the serotonin in their body efficiently could lead to symptoms seen in SAD.

So, regardless if it is the summer or winter. Bottom line is, if you are feeling any of the symptoms above please take action. Reach out for direction if unsure where to step next. Remember you are worth it and Your Time Is N.O.W.